Iran’s official news agency reported Tuesday that two of its navy vessels — a helicopter carrier and a destroyer ship — docked in Port Sudan on the Red Sea on Monday.
The report said the visit is part of Iran’s anti-piracy campaign and that ship commanders will meet Sudanese navy officials during their stay.
The visit underlined the alliance between two nations that have become pariahs in the world — Sudan because of the bloody conflict in Darfur that resulted in war crimes charges against its president, and Iran because of its suspected nuclear program and support of Islamic militants.
A Sudanese military spokesman called the visit an “exchange of amicable relations” between the two nations.
Gen. Bashir is shunned in most of the world because the International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant against him over the long, bloody Darfur conflict in his country, charging him with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Even so, he has been welcome in Tehran. Gen. Bashir visited most recently in August for the Non-Aligned Movement summit there.
Israel has not confirmed or denied involvement in the blast, which killed four people.
Israeli officials claim that Sudan is playing a key role in an Iranian-backed network of arms shipments to militant groups like Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, and Hezbollah, which exerts significant power in Lebanon.
“We would like to deny any link between Sudanese military production and any foreign party,” said a statement from the Sudanese Foreign Ministry.
Accounts vary on the extent of Iranian involvement at the Yarmouk Complex, the site of last week’s explosion, one of two state-owned military factories in Khartoum.