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Will warming ties with Iran impact Morocco’s relationship with Saudi Arabia?

Morocco announced the appointment of an ambassador to Tehran, ending a seven-year break in diplomatic ties. But concerns are emerging about the reaction of Saudi Arabia, an ally to the kingdom and enemy of Iran.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI (L) meets with his Saudi counterpart, King Abdullah, at the former's palace in Bouskoura on the outskirts of Casablanca on September 11, 2012 AFP / PHOTO / AZZOUZ BOUKALLOUCH        (Photo credit should read AZZOUZ BOUKALLOUCH/AFP/GettyImages)

Morocco appointed a new ambassador to Iran for the first time on Oct. 14 following a seven-year halt in diplomatic representation in Tehran. The relations between the two countries had been interrupted in 2009 upon a unilateral Moroccan decision that followed Iran’s use of “inappropriate terms” (which were not specified) — according to the Moroccan Foreign Ministry — after the kingdom showed solidarity with Bahrain when an Iranian official described Bahrain as an Iranian province.

A statement by the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said at the time that Morocco asked for Iranian clarification regarding the statements about Bahrain. Morocco — just like many countries such as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries — had expressed solidarity with the Kingdom of Bahrain and rejected any act aimed at encroaching upon the sovereignty of Bahrain. The Moroccan Foreign Ministry also accused in its statement then the Iranian diplomats in Morocco of seeking to change “the kingdom’s core religious components,” clearly accusing Iran of spreading Shiism.

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