Shabaab rebels
Shabaab rebels

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday categorically denied Morocco’s allegations that Tehran is backing Western Sahara’s separatist movement the Polisario Front.

“The allegation that an Iranian diplomat (in Morocco) has been cooperating with the Polisario Front is untrue and unreal,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said. “One of the important and fundamental principles of Iran’s foreign policy is deep respect to the sovereignty and security of other countries,” Qasemi said, quoted by Iranian Foreign Ministry’s official website.

Iran has never interfered in the internal affairs of world countries and will never do that, he stressed. Therefore, Iran rejects Morocco’s allegations as “totally unfounded and lack of truth.” On Tuesday, Morocco decided to sever relationships with Iran over its backing to Western Sahara’s separatist movement the Polisario Front, the Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said.

Bourita said Morocco will expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat and will close its embassy in Tehran. The Moroccan foreign minister said his country has “strong evidence of Iran’s involvement through its proxy Hezbollah in supporting the Polisario Front financially and through training of its members to undermine Morocco’s security and stability.”

The Moroccan-Iranian relations have been marred by tensions since the Iranian revolution in 1979. The two countries normalized relations only in early 1990s. In 2009, Morocco cut ties with Tehran. Morocco said that Iran was supporting efforts to convert Moroccans, who are predominantly Sunni, to Shiite Islam.

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