Iran Supports Polisario, Challenges Morocco’s Territorial Integrity

Morocco severed ties with Iran in 2018 after presenting evidence suggesting a collision between Iran-backed Hezbollah militias and Polisario.

After denying collision with Polisario, Iran publicly announced support for the separatist group during the 9th meeting of the Committee of Special Political Affairs and Decolonization of the United Nations General Assembly.


The representative of Iran to the UN, Mohammad Reza Sahraei claimed his country support “self-determination” for Sahrawi people


Th Iranian representative also reiterates support for the UN-led political process, accusing Morocco of “concealing its breach” of the obligation to “allow the Sahrawi people to exercise the right to self-determination.”


Sahraei also claimed Morocco should stop “interfering in the internal affairs of other states and questioning their territorial integrity.”


Morocco decided to cut ties with Iran on May 1, 2018, accusing Iran’s proxy Hezbollah of providing military support to the Polisario Front.


 Morocco also accused Algeria of its direct involvement in supporting the collusion.


Both Iran and Polisario denied Morocco’s “unfounded” accusations. But the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs backed its decision with a complete file and data documenting links between Hezbollah and the Polisario Front. 


Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said in several interviews in 2018 that Morocco had sent Tehran a carefully prepared file.


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The file included details and “proven and precise facts: dates of visits by senior officers of Hezbollah in Algeria, dates and venues of meetings with Polisario officials and a list of names of agents involved in these contacts,” Bourita said.


The official said the country has “strong proof,” including names and specific “incidents” that indicate Hezbollah is “logistically and strategically” supporting the Polisario Front.


“Hezbollah sent military officials to Tindouf,” Bourita said, accusing Iranian proxy of providing the Polisario Front with weapons, training its troops on urban warfare.