Iran stored nuclear equipment in Sudanese arms factory destroyed by Israel in October 2012: Saudi memo

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IranIran stored nuclear equipment in Sudanese arms factory destroyed by Israel in October 2012: Saudi memo

Published 24 June 2015

In early October 2012 Israeli planes destroyed the Yarmouk arms factory near Khartoum, Sudan’s capital – 1,300 miles from Israel. At the time, it was reported that the target of the Israeli attack were chemical munitions Iran stored at the site with the intention of delivering them to Hamas. It now appears that the October 2012 Israeli attack targeted more than chemical weapons. According to officials in the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Iran, in early 2012, shipped advanced nuclear equipment to Sudan, and stored that equipment at the sprawling site. The Saudi embassy memo, dated February 2012 and marked as “very secret,” was leaked last week by the WikiLeaks groups along with what the group claimed were 60,000 other official Saudi communications.

In early October 2012 Israeli planes destroyed the Yarmouk arms factory near Khartoum, Sudan’s capital – 1,300 miles from Israel. In 1998 the plant was suspected of holding Iraqi chemical weapons which Saddam Hussein wanted to conceal from the UN inspectors. Sudan had become a major corridor of arms for Hamas, and Israel has conducted several military operations inside Sudan aiming to disrupt shipments of arms to Hamas. In April 2011, for example, Israeli special forces, ferried by helicopters into Sudan, ambushed and killed two high-level Hamas officials who were on their way to Libya to finalize a deal, financed by Iran, to buy about 800 chemical munitions from anti-Qaddafi rebels who had taken over a couple of chemical weapons depots from the pro-Qaddafi forces (see “Israeli planes destroy Sudanese arms factory suspected of producing chemical weapons for Hamas,” HSNW, 24 October 2012)

It now appears that the October 2012 Israeli attack targeted more than chemical weapons Iran was trying to supply to Hamas. According to officials in the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Iran, in early 2012, shipped advanced nuclear equipment to Sudan.

Business Insider reports that the Saudi embassy memo, dated February 2012 and marked as “very secret,” was leaked last week by the WikiLeaks groups along with what the group claimed were 60,000 other official Saudi communications.

“The embassy’s sources advised that Iranian containers arrived this week at Khartoum airport containing sensitive technical equipment in the form of fast centrifuges for enriching uranium, and a second shipment is expected to arrive this week,” the document read, according to a Reuters report.

The Saudi embassy cable does not offer any details about the source of the information, or about the nuclear devices or materials Iran was storing at the site.

Sudan does not have a nuclear power industry or a nuclear research program, and with the exception of the Saudi message, there were no other indications that Iran was using Sudan to store nuclear materials.

There were no comments on the revelations from Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Israel.

The October 2012 Israeli strike caused massive explosions which destroyed a sprawling arms factory and weapons depots south of Khartoum.

The air strikes wiped out the complex and killed four people.

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