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It’s Time to End Naivete which Allowed Iran to Act with Impunity in Middle East & Africa: Former Pentagon Official
It’s time to end “permanently the naivete which for decades has allowed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to act with impunity not only in the Middle East, but also Africa,” Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, said.
What Morocco’s decision to break off diplomatic relations with Iran “exposed was not Iran’s first attempt to destabilize the kingdom,” he said in an article published on Thursday by the Washington Examiner.
“Make no mistake: Iran’s problems with Morocco are ideological. Not only is Morocco firmly in the more liberal, Western camp but it has been at the forefront to fight radical Islamism,” Rubin pointed out.
“At issue is the Polisario Front, a Cold War relic and Algerian proxy which has conducted a terrorist and military campaign against Morocco since 1975,” he went on.
“The Polisario has had no qualms smuggling terrorists, weapons, and other contraband for al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, nor have they shied away from being a link in the elaborate smuggling network that sees South American cartels deliver cocaine to Hezbollah operatives among the Lebanese Diaspora in West Africa and then move it up the interior through the Sahara to Europe,” Rubin noted.
“That they would now smuggle weapons and perhaps even use those missiles and rockets against an ally of France and the U.S. should not surprise. They are, for Iran, a tool of opportunity,” he explained.
“Simply put, the Polisario have become the prostitutes of global terrorism, looking for patrons who will rent their smuggling networks or fund their leader’s lavish lifestyle,” Rubin said.
Morocco has decided to sever ties with Iran because of the military support provided by its ally the Hezbollah movement to the “Polisario”, Moroccan minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nasser Bourita, said on Tuesday.