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Iran denies links with Polisario

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi holds a press conference at the Foreign Ministry building in Tehran, Iran on 24 July, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi holds a press conference at the Foreign Ministry building in Tehran, Iran on 24 July, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that the Moroccan government’s accusations that Iran supports the Polisario Front only serve “the enemies of the Muslim world”.

Morocco had accused Iran of backing the Western Sahara secessionist movement through Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

“After breaking ties with Iran due to a baseless reason, Moroccan officials now have difficulty justifying their action before the public opinion both at home and abroad, and that is why we saw that country’s foreign minister and government spokesman give interviews and repeat the same old rhetoric against Iran,” Iranian news agency Mehr quoted Ghasemi saying.

He also said that Moroccan officials have not provided any evidence to back their claims, and that Rabat was wrong to think that by repeating accusations against Tehran it would convince the world. “We remind them that the world public opinion does not easily believe just any false claim.”

READ: Hezbollah accuses Morocco of bowing to US pressure

Ghasemi linked his rejection to the Moroccan accusations to the need for Muslim unity amid the sensitive events in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

“It is lost on no one,” Ghasemi said, that Morocco’s actions come at a time when it holds the presidency “of the Quds Committee, at a time when the world of Islam needs unity and integrity more than ever before at this sensitive juncture in the region, especially after Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy [from Tel Aviv] to Jerusalem.”

Morocco’s accusations against Iran “will only help advance the objectives of the enemies of the Muslim world and deflect attention from the most pressing issue of the Muslim world, i.e. countering aggression against holy Jerusalem,” the Iranian official added, according to the semi-official Iranian news agency.

Earlier this week, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told the weekly magazine Jeune Afrique that Algeria is providing direct support for meetings held between Hezbollah and Polisario leaders.

The meetings, Bourita said, were held in a secret location in Algeria’s capital, Algiers. He added that the location is known by the Algerian security agencies and was rented by an Algerian woman who is married to a Hezbollah member and who was recruited as a Hezbollah agent in charge of communication between the Iran-backed Lebanese Shia movement and the Polisario Front.

The Moroccan foreign minister alleges that the Iranian embassy in Algeria linked Hezbollah, Algeria and the Polisario through its cultural attaché Amir Moussawi.

He defended his country’s decision to sever ties with Iran as proportionate with the seriousness of Hezbollah’s actions against his country given that the Shia movement is backed by Tehran.

READ: Saudi Arabia asked Morocco to cut ties with Iran

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