Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Morocco Severs Diplomatic Ties With Iran

At the same Mauritania expelled Israeli embassy personnel, the Kingdom of Morocco severed ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Last month, Ali Akbar Natea Nuri, a former Minister of the Interior and presidential candidate, remarked that the island nation of Bahrain was Iran's 14th province and thus still had a seat in the Iranian Parliament.

This offended a number of the Gulf Arab states but none more so than Morocco. The West African nation which is ruled by King Mohammed VI accused Iran of spreading Shiite Islam to Bahrain. A majority of Bahrain's population is Shia however its royal family and the power structure surrounding it is Sunni. Although Tehran tried to distance itself from Nuri's remarks the Moroccans weren't having any of it and they ended diplomatic relations last Friday.

This isn't the first time there's been a diplomatic row between Morocco and Iran. Shortly after the Iranian revolution the newly minted Islamic Republic severed ties with Morocco for permitting the deposed Shah to live out his final days there in exile.

It would be nice if some of the other Gulf Arab states were to follow Morocco's lead but I doubt they will. If they did so it would be seen as doing the bidding of the United States. They are content to let Morocco speak for them.

No comments: