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Morocco cuts diplomatic ties with Iran

RABAT (Reuters) – Morocco will sever diplomatic ties with Iran over Tehran’s support for the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, the Moroccan foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Morocco claimed Western Sahara after colonial Spain left, but Polisario fought a guerrilla war for independence for the Sahrawi people until a U.N.-backed ceasefire.

Morocco will close its embassy in Tehran and will expel the Iranian ambassador in Rabat, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told reporters.

He said that Iran and its Lebanese Shi’ite ally Hezbollah were supporting Polisario by training and arming its fighters.

It was not immediately possible to get Iranian reaction to the Moroccan accusation.

The Western Sahara region has effectively been split by an earthen wall separating an area controlled by Morocco that it claims as its southern provinces and territory controlled by the Polisario, with a U.N.-mandated buffer zone between them.

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