Rabat - While a host of pundits and political commentators have presented the recent Rabat-Tehran rupture as multilayered, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin believes that the real reason can be attributed to a far simpler cause: differences in ideology.
Rabat – While a host of pundits and political commentators have presented the recent Rabat-Tehran rupture as multilayered, former Pentagon official Michael Rubin believes that the real reason can be attributed to a far simpler cause: differences in ideology.
At a news conference on May 1, Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nasser Bourita announced Morocco’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Iran, citing “strong evidence” of Hezbollah’s moves to destabilize Morocco with blessing of Iran and Algeria.
In a recent op-ed article in the Washington Examiner, Rubin argues that ideology is the primary shaper of Iran’s attitude towards Morocco. He writes: “Make no mistakes: Iran’s problems with Morocco are ideological.”
By undermining and destabilizing the North African kingdom, Tehran not only seeks to further its image of itself as the leader of the Islamic world, but it would also be destroying the strongest anti-terrorism center in the Arab world.
He writes that Iran’s only interest in reaching out to Polisario is to undo Morocco’s sovereignty and security apparatus, creating space for Tehran to disrupt the deep theological tradition of tolerant Sunni Islam that constitutes Morocco’s trademark in the MENA region.
“Iran has no interest in Sahrawi independence or the Polisario’s supposed cause,” he argues, explaining that Tehran is hiding behind its proxies to export Shiism and political instability to Morocco. And the Polisario Front, which Rubin describes as “prostitutes of global terrorism,” is being used to realize Tehran’s ideological and geostrategic aspirations.
Michael Rubin concludes by saying that the USA and the international community should not stand by and allow Iran to get away with destabilizing the region: Iran and the Polisario threats should be confrontationally dealt with, allowing Morocco to reclaim its sovereignty over the southern provinces.
If Iran succeeds in sabotaging Morocco by exporting its ideology to the kingdom, he warns, the international community would be losing “the most successful model of regional tolerance and peacemaking the Arab world and Africa have.”