Morocco's government severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2018 due to Hezbollah’s collusion with the Polisario Front.
Rabat – Lebanon-based political party Hezbollah has once again meddled in Morocco’s domestic affairs after Rabat’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with Israel.
In a recent interview, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah attacked the Justice and Development Party (PJD), Morocco’s ruling party, for signing the US-Morocco-Israel “Joint Declaration” that officialized Rabat’s decision to resume relations with Tel Aviv.
On December 22, head of government and Secretary-General of the PJD, Saad Eddine El Othmani, signed the joint declaration with Israeli Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat and Trump’s son-in-law and Senior Adviser Jared Kushner in Rabat.
In addition to officializing the Morocco-Israel agreement, the proclamation also highlighted the recent US decision to recognize Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
El Othmani’s presence at the signing ceremony angered Hezbollah and its leader.
During his recent interview with Al Mayadeen, a pro-Iranian media, Nasrallah attacked the PJD and its position on Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara.
Nasrallah said that as an Islamist, he finds the position of Morocco’s ruling party “more painful and more dangerous than the normalization of regimes.”
Not the first time
This is not the first time Hezbollah interferes in Morocco’s domestic affairs.
In May 2018, Morocco severed ties with Iran due to Hezbollah’s collusion with the Polisario Front, a separatist group claiming independence in Western Sahara.
The Moroccan government accused the Iranian proxy of training Polisario members in Tindouf, Algeria, and of delivering military equipment to the separatist group.
With Hezbollah, Algeria, and Polisario denying the collusion, the Moroccan government emphasized that Morocco has all the proof to demonstrate collusion.
In addition to Hezbollah, Iran was among the few that opposed Morocco’s decision to establish relations with Israel. Iran called the decision a “betrayal to Islam” and the Palestinian cause.
Morocco’s government has repeatedly reiterated support for the Palestinian cause. The latest supportive statement was from King Mohammed VI during a phone call with the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu.
During the phone call, King Mohammed VI reiterated Morocco’s “consistent, constant, and unchanged position” with regards to the Palestinian cause.
The King reaffirmed Morocco’s determination to continue to promote peace and stability in the Middle East.
Morocco supports a two-state solution to end the Israel-Palestine conflict. The kingdom also defends the legitimate rights of Palestinians, vowing to continue to support an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Hezbollah interference in Syria
Several countries have long condemned Hezbollah and Iran’s involvement and interference in their domestic affairs.
The US has repeatedly blamed Hezbollah for its involvement in supporting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Washington also condemned the financial support of the Lebanese political party to Assad’s government, undermining stability in Syria.
The US considers Hezbollah’s Syrian involvement as a major destabilizing factor for both Syria and other fragile spots in the Middle East.
The escalating conflict with Hezbollah’s presence in Syria caused economic damage and casualties among civilians, which led to the displacement of thousands of Syrians.
Thousands of people from Syria took refuge in countries near the region and beyond, escaping war and a humanitarian crisis.
By November 2020, 6.6 million Syrians were displaced inside their country, according to Statistics the UN refugee Agency. Around 5.5 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt.
The escalation, in which Hezbollah is directly involved, caused several damages. The UNCR said that one in four schools have been damaged, or destroyed. Some of the schools have been turned into shelters.