Morocco Officially Ends Duty of its Ambassadors to Algeria, Iran


Rabat – Morocco has officially ended the duties of its ambassadors assigned to Iran and Algeria.

In its most recent official gazette, Morocco’s government announced that the country’s Foreign Affairs ministry ended the duties of several of its ambassadors, most notably including Morocco’s envoy to Iran Hassan Hami and Moroccan ambassador to Algeria Lahcen Abdelkhalek.

Morocco severed relations with Iran in May 2018, with the country saying it had obtained hard evidence that the Iranian embassy in Algeria was facilitating logistic links between the separatist Polisario Front in Western Sahara and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militant group.

While Iran denied Morocco’s accusations, the Moroccan government said it had documents and satellite images proving that the Iranian proxy had been providing the Polisario Front with military training and support.

Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, said in several interviews in 2018 that Morocco had sent Tehran a carefully prepared file about the Polisario-Hezbollah collusion.

“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.

Meanwhile, tensions between Morocco and Algeria reached a new low in August last year, when Algeria announced its decision to sever all ties with Morocco. Many observers saw in the official severance of relations the tipping point of the long-simmering Algerian-Moroccan tensions. 

Long before the official rupture of diplomatic relations, however, the two neighbors’ rift reached their highest point in years when the Algerian presidency accused the Moroccan government of being involved in a plot to “sabotage Algeria democracy” and undermine Algerian interests. 

While announcing the decision to sever ties with Morocco, the Algerian Foreign Affairs Ministry recycled those claims, citing an unverified Moroccan plot against Algeria as the main reason for the diplomatic rupture. 

The Algerian ministry notably accused Morocco of masterminding the summer wildfires in the Kabylie region. Morocco rejected Algiers’ “fallacious” and “unfounded,” but insisted it was committed to remaining a good friend of the Algerian people despite political disagreements with their government.  

Beyond last summer’s tensions between the two countries, Algeria has long undermined Moroccan interests by challenging the country’s sovereignty over its southern provinces. The Algerian regime shelters, arms, finances, and backs the Front Polisario, the separatist group claiming “self-determination” in the Western Sahara region.