Morocco Wants Strong Security Cooperation with US Against Iran

Rabat – Following his meeting with Mike Pompeo, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita met three US senators in Washington, D.C.Senator Ted Cruz posted pictures of himself and the Moroccan official on Twitter on Tuesday, September 18.“Glad to meet with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at my DC office today.” The Moroccan official visited the US to discuss means to “end Iran’s support for terrorism and counter its malign influence in the region.”Commenting on his meeting with senators, Bourita told Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) that the aim of the talks with the US senators is “maintaining contacts with influential members of the Senate, including on financial and military cooperation, but also on the national question.”He added that the senators described the partnership with Morocco as “valuable for the United States, or even unique in the region.”Cruz had long supported Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. The senator shares Morocco’s concern as he sees Iran as a threat to US stability.Glad to meet with Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita at my DC office today. @MarocDiplomatie @USEmbMorocco— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) September 18, 2018As both countries perceive Iran as an enemy to the stability of the region, Bourita sought cooperation with the US through senior officials to take measures against the alleged threat posed by Iran.In an exclusive interview with US news outlet Breitbart News, Bourita shared concerns that Iran is attempting to increase its presence in North and West Africa.During the interview, Bourita also explained how Iran interfered in Morocco’s internal affairs.“They tried to develop a presence in Morocco. Today they are repeating the efforts in other North African countries. They attracted some of our youth by giving them scholarships,” he said.Bourita’s concerns about Iran more broadly were echoed also by Cruz, who tweeted on October 23, 2017, that “Iran’s Hezbollah has been a force of terrorism across the Middle East & Israel for over three decades.”Cruz, along with David Perdue and other US senators, expressed determination that their country should take urgent steps to sanction Iranian-controlled militias in the Middle East.The senators presented a terrorist sanctions act against Iranian proxies when declassified reports showed that Iran equipped and funded terrorist activities by its proxies, including Harakat Hezbollah al Nujaba.The same accusation was expressed by Morocco on May 1 when the North African country cut diplomatic ties with Iran.Morocco accused Iran of interfering in its internal affairs, specifically in the Western Sahara conflict through Hezbollah.Morocco said that it has provided documents that showed Polisario-Hezbollah collusion, accusing the Iranian ally of training Polisario members.Morocco also said that Hezbollah provided the separatist group with military equipment.On Tuesday, Bourita also met Senator Lindsey Graham, who has also warned the US about the Iranian threat several times.In July, Fox News quoted Graham, saying that the US will “bring the Iranian regime down.”Bourita also met Senator Todd Young, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

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