Opposition leader: Sudan blackmailed S. Arabia to cut ties with Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Sudanese opposition leader revealed that the country’s government has blackmailed Saudi Arabia for severance of relations with Iran.

“The policy of the current government in Sudan is blackmailing (others) for taking foreign policy positions,” President of Sudan’s National Front Ahmad Ibrahim told FNA on Monday.

“Saudi Arabia could change Omar al-Bashir’s position to its own interests by depositing $1bln in the Sudanese Central Bank,” he added.

Ibrahim, meantime, said that Saudi Arabia can take back the money whenever it sees a change in Sudan’s positions against Riyadh’s policies.

Long one of Iran’s Arab partners, Sudan announced in January that it would sever ties with Tehran after the execution of a Saudi Shiite cleric by Saudi Arabia inflamed tensions in the region.

But with Khartoum hungry for Saudi investment, the move has been characterized by Sudanese analysts as motivated by the promise of financial reward.

Though the government says it was in response to retaliatory attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran, Al-Tayeb Zein al-Abidine, professor of political science at Khartoum University, said it had been made for “pragmatic reasons” at a time when the country’s economy is in tatters.

“The government realized it was very isolated, even within the Arab world, and decided to change sides,” Abidine said.

By Fars News Agency