(Reuters) – Iran’s foreign ministry on Saturday called the US-shared deal to normalize relations between Sudan and Israel “false” and accused Khartoum of paying a ransom in exchange for removing Washington from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The deal, agreed on Friday, marks the third Arab government after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to end hostilities with Israel in the past two months.
“Pay enough ransom, close your eyes to the crimes against the Palestinians, then you will be removed from the so-called blacklist of ‘terrorism’,” the English Ministry of Twitter said. “Obviously, the list is as frantic as the US fight against terrorism. Shame.”
US President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he would remove Sudan from the list after depositing $ 335 million, for which he promised to pay compensation.
Since then, Khartoum has put the funds into a special deposit account for victims of al Qaeda attacks on US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
Trump also said the Palestinians “want to do something,” but did not offer evidence. Palestinian leaders have condemned recent Arab overtures to Israel as a betrayal of their nationalist cause for statehood in Israeli-occupied territories. They refused to commit to the Trump administration, believing it to be biased in favor of Israel.
In recent weeks, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have become the first Arab states in a quarter of a century to agree to formal relations with Israel, built largely through shared fears of Iran.
The military and civilian leaders of Sudan’s transitional government are divided over how quickly and how far it should go in establishing ties with Israel.
A point in the talks was Sudan’s insistence that any message to remove Khartoum from terrorism not be explicitly linked to relations with Israel.
Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1993 dates back to its ousted ruler, Omar al-Bashir, and has made it difficult for the transitional government in Khartoum to have urgent access to much-needed debt relief and foreign financing.
(Edited by Mark Heinrich and Jason Neely)