World Bulletin / News Desk
Sudan on Monday ordered the closure of Iranian Cultural Centers across the country, including in its capital Khartoum, after the Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires to inform him of the decision.
The Sudan Tribune stated that Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir's administration also asked the Iranian cultural attaché and the center's staff to leave the country within 72 hours. However, no official explanation was given.
It has been speculated that the decision was made due to the Sudanese government giving into pressure from religious circles and the media about the spread of Shiite Muslim ideology in the country, with militant group “Hamza Group for Preaching and Jihad” accusing former managing director of Kenana Sugar Company, Mohamed El-Mardi Tijani, and religious cleric al-Nayel Abu-Guroon of promoting what they consider to be a heretical sect.
Last month Sudan Tribune reported that Egyptian media figure Ahmad al-Maslamani claimed that there were now 12,000 Sudanese Shiites, mainly university students, who were influenced by the Iranian cultural attaché in the predominantly Sunni Muslim country.
Another argument is that the move was made as a gesture to Arab Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in order to mend strained ties with them due to Khartoum's warm relations with Tehran.
Sudan often allows Iranian warships to dock in Port Sudan across Saudi Arabia drawing concern by the United States and its allies in the Gulf, Sudan Tribune reported.
Last year, Sudanese president al-Bashir could not attend Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's inauguration after Saudi Arabia closed its airspace to his plane.Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2014, 13:39