Morocco “plays Iran card” to get US support on Western Sahara, says al-Monitor

Washington, September 22, 2018 (SPS) -  Morocco "plays the card of Iran" to obtain the support of the United States on Western Sahara question, said the American site al-Monitor, highlighting the political opportunism of Rabat which tries to weaken the position of the United States on this issue via its Israeli lobby in Washington.

"Morocco is taking advantage of the Donald Trump administration's hawkish stance on Iran to press its claims on the disputed Western Sahara,” wrote al Monitor in an article published on Tuesday following Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita’s visit to Washington.

By accusing Iran of providing weapons to Polisario Front, "Rabat is hoping to solidify US support for its position on the resource-rich Moroccan-occupied territory," wrote Bryant Harris, the author of the article.

To illustrate the political opportunism of Rabat, al-Monitor quoted the remarks made by the Moroccan FM to the far right website, Breitbart News in which he does not hide the willingness of Morocco to take advantage of the crisis between Tehran and Washington.

“We have an opportunity with this administration,” Bourita told the far-right outlet last week. “We need to make things happen. We have an opportunity also because they are clear in their position about Iran.”

In reaction to those accusations, Mouloud Said, the Polisario Front’s envoy to Washington, told al-Monitor that Rabat “came up with this fabrication” to benefit from the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and please its Sunni Gulf allies.

“They’ve tried it before,” Said told Al-Monitor. “They tried to say that we were communists. It didn’t work. Then they said we are part of al-Qaeda. It didn’t work.”

Bourita also accuses the Lebanese paramilitary group of setting up a solidarity committee with the Polisario in 2016. Neither the State Department’s counterterrorism report for that year, nor a July report on Western Sahara from the UN Secretary-General mention any ties between the two groups. (SPS)

062/SPS/APS