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December 12, 2012 11:31 am

Report: Israel Monitoring Iran from Eritrea

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The Flag of Eritrea. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Israel is operating an intelligence gathering base in the East African nation of Eritrea to monitor Iran’s activities in the Red Sea, the Stratfor Global Intelligence company revealed Tuesday.

The company says it uses a unique, intelligence-based approach to gathering information via open-source monitoring and a global network of human contacts.

In its report on Tuesday, Stratfor wrote: “The tiny country of Eritrea has been accommodating two Middle Eastern rivals in order to face its geopolitical challenges—mainly its fear of invasion by Ethiopia. Iran wants to expand its presence in Eritrea and other East African nations in order to gain influence along the Red Sea, an important route for seaborne international trade. Israel, meanwhile, wants to monitor Iranian activities in the region. By allowing foreign security operations in its territory, Eritrea has become another venue for Israel and Iran’s ongoing rivalry.”

In exchange for resources, possibly including modest amounts of cash and weapons, Eritrea has exhibited a willingness to become a base of support for Middle Eastern powers that want to exert greater influence in the Horn of Africa. As a result, Eritrea and its waters in the Gulf of Aden have become another venue for Iran and Israel’s rivalry. Israel and Iran’s engagement with Eritrea is an extension of their rivalry over the Red Sea, which allegedly led to the bombing of the Yarmouk weapons factory in Sudan, Stratfor reported.

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  • Jerry Hersch

    Eritrea a nation half Moslem..half Christian(It’s President Isaias Afwerki is Eritrean Orthodox)
    An isolated Christain population -with a resentment of Ethiopian Christian across a hostile border fears Iranian influence..but has no where to turn for support.
    Resource poor and strategically located along one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes.
    Historically the area especially the port of Massawa along with the Sudanes port of Suakin became a conduit of trade and more importantly cultural contact for Jews.
    After the Red Sea became an Ottoman area with the fall of Egypt in 1517 and Ademn in 1538 the ottomans set up the Habesh Elayet covering what is now Eritea.
    This allowed for a tenuous line of contact from Ethiopia through Habesh Elayet to Adenand Yemen ..and even to the isolated communities in the remote Yemen area of Hadraumaut.