Morocco severs relations with Iran

Rabat accuses Iranian ambassador of seeking to spread Shia Islam in the Sunni kingdom.

    The foreign ministry equated proselytising with challenging Morocco's monarchy [AP]

    Bahrain controversy

    Moroccan local media has repeatedly accused Iran of proselytising in recent years, claims rejected by the Iranian ambassador.

    The controversy was fuelled recently by comments attributed to an adviser of Iran's supreme leader which questioned the sovereignty of Bahrain, a Gulf Arab state which has a majority Shia population but is ruled by Sunnis.

    Morocco, however, has no official Shia population, with 99 per cent of the country being Sunni Muslim, and the rest either Jews or Christians.

    Sunni scholars in Morocco have denounced what they say is an effort to convert people to Shia Islam, arguing that such a practice could ultimately lead to sectarian strife similar to that witnessed in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.

    Furthermore, as Mohamed VI, Morocco's king, is the country's official religious leader, any attempt to convert Sunni Muslims has been equated to an attack on the monarchy, the foreign ministry said.

    Morocco and Iran have had rocky ties since the Iranian revolution in 1979. The two normalised relations only in the late 1990s.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    FGM: The last cutting season

    FGM: The last cutting season

    Maasai women are spearheading an alternative rite of passage that excludes female genital mutilation.

    'No girl is safe': The mothers ironing their daughters' breasts

    Victims of breast ironing: It felt like 'fire'

    Cameroonian girls are enduring a painful daily procedure with long lasting physical and psychological consequences.

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    Could mega-dams kill the mighty River Nile?

    For Ethiopia, a new dam holds the promise of much-needed electricity; for Egypt, the fear of a devastating water crisis.