Sudan turned down an Iranian offer to set up air defenses on its Red Sea coast after a 2012 air strike Khartoum blamed on Israel, fearing they would upset Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, Sudan’s foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.

In an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper that seemed aimed at improving frosty ties with Riyadh, Ali Karti played down Khartoum’s links to Iran and to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is outlawed in Saudi Arabia.

“Iran, in truth, offered to set up air defense platforms on the Western coast of the Red Sea after the latest Israel raid, but Sudan rejected that because this would require Iranian arms experts (on the ground),” Karti said during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, al Hayat reported. […]