Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Russia on track to hand Iran huge Red Sea boost as Putin ready to change sides in war

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun6,2024

Russia and Iran are on track to become increasingly aligned as Moscow considers switching sides in the ongoing Sudanese civil war.

The Kremlin has been backing the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which have been pivotal in helping Wagner Group members get their hands on considerable amounts of gold and other resources over the years.

But recent negotiations between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Abdel Fattah al Burhan, appear to indicate a possible change of stance for Moscow.

Russia has been trying to secure better access to the Red Sea for well over a decade and the SAF has been in control of the coastal areas of Sudan ever since their bloody conflict with the RSF began in April 2023.

According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), switching support to back the Sudanese Armed Forces would not only benefit Russia‘s trade but also help Moscow strengthen its alliance with Iran.

The Washington-based think tank said in its latest report: “Russia backing the SAF would greatly benefit Iran by aligning Iranian and Russian policy and strategy in the region, which would advance Iran’s own aims of securing a Red Sea base in Sudan.

“Iran strengthened its bilateral relations with the SAF throughout 2023 and started sending drones to the SAF in late 2023 and early 2024.

“The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2024 that Iran unsuccessfully attempted to use these ties and promises of a helicopter-carrier ship to secure a permanent naval base in Port Sudan.”

The ISW assessment noted Russia‘s intercession to help Iran snatch port access to Sudan would also provide Tehran with a stronger base to threaten trade via the Red Sea – whether directly or through its proxy force, the Houthis.

They added: “Iran seeks a Red Sea naval base for reasons similar to Russia‘s–to project power further westward. Iran would use a Red Sea base to support out-of-area naval operations and attacks on international shipping.

“This power projection includes threatening Red Sea shipping traffic and creating opportunities to launch attacks into Israel with systems fired from surface combatants.”

The think tank noted that increased Iranian presence in the area would also allow Russia to free up more men to redeploy to the Ukrainian front as Moscow would be able to coordinate with Tehran to protect its interests in Sudan.

They said: “The Kremlin may also align its Sudan policy with Iran to lighten its own military commitments. Russian insider sources reported in mid-April that the Russian Ministry of Defense (MOD) was redeploying Russian soldiers from unspecified MOD-affiliated Africa Corps units to the Ukrainian border.

“These demands from the Ukraine war compound ongoing capacity issues stemming from Africa Corps’ recruitment struggles.

Russia aligning with Iran would enable the Kremlin to coordinate aid with Iran and potentially free the resources and soldiers that it had devoted to supporting the RSF.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Russia on track to hand Iran huge Red Sea boost as Putin ready to change sides in war”
  1. It seems like Russia is indeed considering changing sides in the Sudanese civil war to strengthen ties with Iran and secure better access to the Red Sea. This potential move could have significant implications for the region.

  2. How will this potential change in Russia’s stance impact the dynamics in the Red Sea region?

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