Rabat - Morocco has decided to cut relations with Iran, due to its alliance with the Hezbollah movement, which militarily supports the "Polisario," announced Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, in a press conference on Tuesday.
Rabat – Morocco has decided to cut relations with Iran, due to its alliance with the Hezbollah movement, which militarily supports the “Polisario,” announced Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, in a press conference on Tuesday.
Bourita made the announcement upon his return from Tehran, where he met with the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zari.
The minister confirmed that Morocco has documented evidence of the connections between Polisario and Hezbollah, including names of supporters.
Morocco’s Ambassdor to Iran, Hassan Hami, departed the country and returned to Morocco today.
Chargé d’affaires of Iranian Embassy to Leave Morocco ‘Without Delay’
Nasser Bourita, said he will receive today the Chargé d’affaires of the Iranian embassy in Rabat to ask him to leave the Kingdom of Morocco “without delay.”
“I have just returned from Tehran where I had a meeting with Iranian Foreign minister Jawad Darif. I informed him of the decision of the Kingdom of Morocco to break off diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Bourita said during a meeting with representatives of the national and foreign press in Rabat.
Morocco’s ambassador in Tehran, Hassan Hami, left Iran today, Bourita, said.
“I will receive the chargé d’affaires of the Iranian embassy in 30 minutes to ask him to leave the Kingdom of Morocco without delay,” added the minister,” he added.
“This decision is a reaction to the confirmed involvement of Iran through Hezbollah in an alliance with the ‘Polisario’ against national security and the higher interests of the Morocco,” Bourita told the press.
Bourita said that “Morocco has irrefutable evidence, identified names and specific facts that corroborate this connivance between the ‘Polisario’ and Hezbollah against the higher interests of Morocco.”
Tehran and Rabat’s Rocky Past
This is not the first time that Rabat has severed ties with Tehran. In 2009, Morocco severed all diplomatic ties with Iran, after Iran questioned Sunni rule in Shiite-majority Bahrain.
Although the two countries resumed their bilateral relations in 2014, ties between the nations were never stable, due to the fact that Tehran historically supported Polisario, and Iran denounced Morocco’s relations with Saudi Arabia.
More recently, in mid-March, Morocco thwarted Hezbollah’s ideological maneuvers in the Ivory Coast, specifically, a militant group attempting to convert Moroccans living in the West African country to Shi’a Islam.
Moroccan officials said on the occasion that the group was engaged in a broader strategy of ruining Moroccan interests by undoing its diplomatic and economic advances in Ivory Coast and other countries in the region.
In 2016, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, which collectively encompass Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, categorized Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Algeria were the only member-states to reject the categorization.
Previously in 1981, Tehran cut ties with Rabat following King Hassan II’s decision to give asylum to the US-backed Shah, who had been forced into exile after the Iranian Revolution of 1979.
Today, although many nations, including the US and France, consider the entire Hezbollah organization a terrorist organization, other political bodies and nations, like the European Union and the UK, consider Hezbollah a political entity, condemning only the military wing of the group.
In addition to Iran, the Assad regime in Syria, Cuba, and North Korea maintain close relations with Hezbollah.