On Dec. 20, Iran appointed an ambassador to Morocco, five years after diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed at the instigation of Morocco. Ongoing contacts between the two countries’ foreign ministers since February 2014 suggest that Morocco will soon reciprocate and name its own ambassador.
Iran officially announced the appointment of Mohammad Taghi Moayed, a career diplomat familiar with the Maghreb who previously served in Tunisia. Rabat, however, has been more discreet about its rapprochement with the Islamic Republic. The kingdom has put conditions on resuming relations with Tehran; one of them is to obtain guarantees that Iran will refrain from proselytizing its own brand of Shiite Islam. Suspected religious activism, especially in northern Morocco, was one of the reasons that led Rabat to break diplomatic relations with Iran in March 2009. Morocco also cited Iran’s interference in the affairs of Bahrain, an allied Sunni monarchy ruling over a majority of Shiites. Diplomatic cables revealed by WikiLeaks later alleged that King Mohammed VI, without the knowledge of the Moroccan government, had unilaterally put an end to his country’s relations with Iran at Saudi Arabia’s request.