“The Red Sea, a key shipping route, is becoming an arena of confrontation between Israel and Iran, with Sudan and Eritrea key targets by both sides in a strategic contest that’s likely to intensify in the months ahead,” began the article.
Anyone, who has seen map of the Middle East will know that it’s land-locked Israel which needs Red Sea for its import/export activities. Iran, contrary to that, has several land routes through Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to handle such activities. However, Iran does need a strong navy presence in the Persian Gulf especially its national interests in the Strait of Harmuz. It also needs a powerful navy to help its friendly states in the region (Syria, Sudan, Lebanon and Gaza) in stopping the Zionist entity from exploiting their oil and water resorces discovered under the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, which connects the coasts of Lebanon, Gaza, Cyprus and Israel.
Islamist government in Khartoum has long developed close relation with Tehran to counter Israeli aggression. Eritrea, a Muslim-majority country, strategically located on the Horn of Africa, has a long history of Israeli military involvement during its decades-long occupation by the Christian-ruled Ethiopia. Former Ethopian King Haile Selassie’s 3100-strong ‘Emergency Police’ was trained and armed by the Israeli forces and Mossad. The King had allowed Israel to build its second largest naval base outside Israel at Eritrea’s Dahlak’s Island on the shore of the Red Sea. Israel has used this base for conducting intelligence-gathering operations and bullying African states.
Israel intends to station some of its German supplied four nuclear submarine at this base in Eritrea. Eritrea received its independence from Christian-ruled Ethiopia in 1991 after a long bloody resistance. As the result, Ethiopia lost its two ports Massawa and Assab on the Red Sea. The other ports on the Red Sea, are Suez and Al Qusayr in Egypt, Port Sudan and Sawakin in Sudan, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and Al Hudaydah and Mocha (Al Mukha) in Yemen.
Eritrea (popl. 3.5 million) a former Ottoman territory, was occupied by Italy after WW I. In 1952, United Nations gave Eritrea to Ethiopia as a ‘gift’. Anyone holding Eritrea controlled the southern entrance to the Red Sea, and thus all traffic between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. Moreover, Eritrea provides a port opening onto the sea for Ethiopia (popl. 85 million – 50% Christians, 50% Muslims).