Iran Denies Claim It’s Trying to Expand Influence in Africa

Bahram Qassemi

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has rejected the claims made by Morocco regarding Tehran’s attempts to expand its influence in Africa, saying that the relations between the Islamic Republic and the African countries have always been based on mutual respect.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that the ties between Iran and the African states have always been based on mutual respect for the other side’s national sovereignty and the development of joint cooperation.

He further mentioned that good ties and the reciprocal visits of officials from Africa and Iran prove that the Islamic Republic is after cooperating with the important countries of this region.

In response to a question raised by Al-Manar Television, Qassemi said unfortunately, allegations made by the Moroccan foreign minister have been published in one of the most radical and racist media outlets of US neoconservatives.

The Iranian official noted that such stances are not based on a realistic view of African issues, and are mostly in line with the current anti-African policy of the White House rulers.

“Morocco has cut off its relations with Iran two times over a decade and it shows that the country does not have a stable conduct in its foreign relations. Instead of protecting the long-term interests of the country and the people of Morocco, the African country’s government makes rude allegations based on the dictated claims of others under the influence and pressures of the third parties.”

Qassemi stressed that there is no originality in such allegations, and they are just a rehash of the anti-Iran accusations raised by those who call for division in the Muslim world.

The remarks came after Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita, in an interview with Breitbart News, expressed his country’s concerns regarding Iran’s “destabilising” moves in North Africa, saying that Rabat needs the Trump administration’s support to block Tehran’s influence in the region.

Rabat cut off ties with Tehran in 2009, and renewed them in December 2016. The Kingdom cut its ties once again in May 2018, in protest against what it called the military support provided by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah movement to the Polisario separatists.

   
   

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