Iran's attempts to expand its influence in North Africa is one of the reasons that pushed the United States to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over its Sahara, underlined Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations.
Quoted by the news site "le360.ma", Gold, who is also president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, explained that "the security challenges facing Morocco and Moroccans come first from the former Spanish colony in the Sahara with a guerrilla movement supported by Algeria, but also by Iran which seeks to position itself in the region".
In 2018, Morocco unveiled Iranian documents attesting that Tehran is arming and training the Polisario through Lebanese Hezbollah and it was proved that Iran provided SAM-9 and SAM-11 missiles to the separatists, said Gold, adding that Morocco had frozen its diplomatic relations with Iran, especially when it discovered that cooperation with the Polisario was done with the cover of the Iranian embassy in Algiers.
"Iranians have also made attempts to convert Sunni Africans to Shiism, which has exacerbated relations between Tehran and a number of Sunni countries," he said.
During these episodes, there was a series of lessons for the West. First, it was clear that the Polisario, far from being a national liberation movement deserving global support, was an organization that did not mind forging ties with the terrorist network set up by Iran in the Middle East and Africa, Gold said in a column published Monday in the columns of the +Israel Hayom+ newspaper.
He added that when the Polisario decided to work with Iran, a decision was taken to recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the Sahara, stressing that it is a "decision that perfectly makes sense".