Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Iran Rejects Morocco’s Claims on Backing Polisario Front

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly rejected Morocco’s recent claim that the Islamic Republic has provided support for the North African country’s Polisario Front.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Qassemi dismissed as baseless the allegation that the Iranian embassy in Algiers has cooperated with the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, in its fight against the Moroccan government.

The Moroccan foreign minister said on Tuesday that his country severed diplomatic ties with Iran over what he called Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front.

Morocco has claimed Western Sahara since colonial power Spain left in 1975. But Polisario fought a guerrilla war for independence for the Sahrawi people until a United Nations-backed ceasefire in 1991, monitored by UN peacekeepers.

Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita accused Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah of training and arming Polisario fighters via the Iranian embassy in Algeria.

Hezbollah, too, denied in a statement that it was training and arming Polisario and said Morocco had taken its decision under “American, Israeli and Saudi pressure”.

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