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Morocco Warns Against Iranian Influence in Arab Countries

Rabat – Morocco has issued an indirect warning against Iran’s foreign policy at the 36th Arab Interior Ministers Council in Tunis.Minister of the Interior Abdelouafi Laftit, the head of the Moroccan delegation, said on Sunday that Iranian “manoeuvers are fuelling ethnic rivalries and internal conflicts to destabilize Arab countries, in a bid to promote its ideology.” The Moroccan minister added that “these threats are not just limited to a single Arab country, but extend to the entire Arab nation … to sow discord.”Laftit also said that Morocco has been a target of “these abject manoeuvers threatening national security and terrorizing Moroccan citizens by supporting the separatists and the opponents of Morocco’s territorial integrity.”Laftit did not explicitly mention Iran in his speech.Laftit’s comments add to a series moves aiming at easing tensions between Morocco and Saudi Arabia, a fierce opponent of Iran, following a recent diplomatic spat between the two monarchies. Last month, Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz, the younger brother of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Laayoune in Western Sahara for a private visit. The same month, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said that Morocco maintains strong diplomatic ties with all Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE.Read also: Interior Minister Laftit: Fighting Terrorism is a Long-Term ProjectIn February 2014, Morocco and Iran planned to re-establish diplomatic ties. Four years later, a fresh dispute surfaced between the two countries.In May 2018, Morocco severed diplomatic relations with Iran one week before the United States announced its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Morocco said it was cutting ties over Iran’s supplying weapons to Polisario through Hezbollah.Facebook in February said it identified and took down hundreds of fake accounts linked to Iran which were disseminating pro-Iran narratives to influence political discourse in many countries, including Morocco. read more