Iran: Morocco’s false claims aim to please third parties
Iran has hit out at Morocco for accusing Tehran of interference in the African country’s affairs, saying the “false claims” are aimed at pleasing certain third parties.
Morocco has close ties with Saudi Arabia which has accused Iran of meddling in Arab affairs, with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita repeating those claims in a recent interview with Fox News.
“The Moroccan foreign minister knows himself well that the unjust charges he is making are utterly wrong, false and based on delusions and fictions written by those who resort to such provocations only in line with their illegitimate interests,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Thursday.
Bourita first made the accusations against Iran early this month as he announced Morocco’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic over what he called Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front.
The Polisario is a guerrilla movement fighting for independence for the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara which is claimed by Morocco after colonial Spain left the territory.
In his interview with Fox News aired on Wednesday, Bourita claimed that Hezbollah members had met with senior Polisario military leaders recently and that the Iranian embassy in Algeria was used to fund the Polisario.
“The Moroccan authorities’ insistence on repeating their false claims for cutting diplomatic ties with Iran and repeatedly raising baseless allegations against our country is merely a bid to please certain third parties,” Qassemi said.
Bourita also claimed that Iran was in part trying to destabilize the area due to Morocco’s good relations with the US and Europe.
Earlier this month, he had said that Iran and Hezbollah were supporting Polisario by training and arming its fighters, via the Iranian embassy in Algeria.
Algeria, Iran and Hezbollah were all quick to reject the claims as baseless back then.
Iranian Foreign Ministry said there was no cooperation between Tehran’s diplomatic mission in Algiers and the Algeria-backed movement.
Hezbollah also blamed the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia for the diplomatic tensions, saying Rabat had cut ties with Tehran under pressure from the trio.
In turn, Algeria summoned Morocco’s ambassador to protest the “unfounded” claims.
Rabat annexed Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, in 1975, and has since been in conflict with Polisario, which demands a referendum on self-determination and independence.
The movement, which aims to end Morocco’s presence in the Saharan region, recently said they sought to set up a “capital” in the region, prompting Rabat to caution it would respond with force.