Bashir: Iranian centers closed to protect Sudan
‘We cannot handle a new problem and conflicts between Sunnism and Shiism,’ Bashir says
Sudan has closed all Iranian cultural centers in the capital Khartoum because the establishment has become a threat to national security, President Omar al-Bashir said in an interview with sister channel Al Arabiya News.
Commenting on his country’s relations with Iran, Bashir said: “They are ordinary relations between any two countries.”
“People pointed to things we were not well aware of: cultural centers that proselytized Shiism. We should note that we are Sunni. And we have enough problems,” he said.
“We cannot handle a new problem and conflicts between Sunnism and Shiism. We closed these centers because we figured that they could harm Sudan and national unity,” he said.
His statement was in reference to an announcement the Sudanese government made in September, in which it said that the Iranian cultural center in the capital and its other branches had violated their mandate and become a social and ideological threat to the largely Sunni country.
The government also expelled Iranian diplomats.
Commenting on the situation in Libya, President Bashir denied that his country supported extremists groups in the war-trenched North African country, saying Abdullah al-Thinni’s government was the legitimate government in the country.