The New Iranian Expansion into the Sahara

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Amb. Dore Gold and Brig. Gen. (ret.) Dr. Shimon Shapira - Tehran is widening the scope of its expansionism into North Africa, seeking to intervene in the conflict over the Western Sahara by backing the Polisario forces fighting the army of Morocco, a long-term Western ally. The Polisario seek to break off the area of the Western Sahara from Morocco, creating an irredentist movement that will threaten the territorial integrity of the Moroccan Kingdom. Iran used its embassy in Algeria as a conduit for the supply of weapons and financial aid. Morocco now has documentation of arms deliveries that were made by Hizbullah to the Polisario that included SAM-9 and SAM-11 surface-to-air missiles that could take down commercial aircraft. A new conflict over the Western Sahara could potentially create an additional center of instability leading to a further wave of refugees into Europe. Moreover, the suggestion appearing in the Arab press that the Iranians hope to recruit terrorists for destabilizing the Middle East and even threatening Europe should not be dismissed.

2018-05-09 00:00:00

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