Sudan closes Iranian centres for ‘threatening security’
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry has attributed the government’s decision to close Iranian cultural centres in the capital, Khartoum, and other states on Monday, to the threat they posed to the intellectual and social security in the country.
The Ministry’s spokesman, Youssef El Kordofani, told state media on Tuesday that the centres had exceeded their mandate and posed a threat to the social security in Sudan. “It became necessary to take an official action.”
He confirmed that the Iranian charge d’affaires was summoned on Monday and informed that the staff at the centre had to leave the country within 72 hours.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hussein Amir-Abdallahian, dismissed reports about the closure of Iran’s cultural centres in Sudan. He stated on Wednesday that activities of embassies in Tehran and Khartoum, which are usually on friendly terms, continued normally.
“There are hands at work to harm friendly relations between Iran and Sudan,” Abdallahian stressed, expressing confidence that the Sudanese leadership would not allow any move to disrupt historical relations between Tehran and Khartoum.
Islamic councils welcome decision
The Islamic Fiqh Council in Sudan issued a statement in which it welcomes the closure of the Iranian centres. The Islamic preacher and member of the religious authority, Isam Ahmed El Bashir, posted this on his Facebook page. He called upon the Sudanese government to continue its efforts to curb “the expansion of the Shiite threat in Sudan”.
The General Sufi Academy described the decision as “a step in the right direction to purify the religious arena from deviant ideologies”. The deputy chairman of the Islamic acadamy, Abdel Salam El Kasanzani, further stressed the need to close all Shiite schools, which spread “aberrance” in Sudan.
Some press reports have suggested that the Sudanese government’s decision was motivated by religious circles and the media, warning for the spread of the Shiite ideology among Sudanese youth.
Arab Gulf States appeared to have grown weary of Shiite Iran’s influence in the Middle East, Radio Dabanga wrote in March this year, and Sudan’s political ties with Iran. In August 2013, Saudi Arabia rejected to give permission to enter its airspace to an aircraft carrying President Omer Al Bashir to Iran. Sudan has allowed Iranian warships to dock in Port Sudan several times over the past two years.
(Sudan Tribune, Press TV)
File photo: Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hussein Amir-Abdallahian (Press TV)
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