Iran says surprised by Morocco's decision to cut ties, rejects allegations

Iran said on Saturday that it was surprised by Morocco's recent decision to cut its diplomatic ties with Iran and rejected Rabat's accusations of interference as " totally baseless."
"Iran is astonished by the move and emphasizes the allegations regarding the interference (of Iran) in Morocco's internal affairs are totally baseless and wrong," Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"Iran believes under current sensitive situation when unity and integrity of Islamic countries are necessary to support the Palestinians, Morocco's measure is harmful to the Islamic world's unity," it added.
The statement stressed that Iran has always been the harbinger of unity among Islamic nations and has emphasized evading diversions between Muslims, Xinhua reports.
"Political relation between countries is a two-way road and we must be careful of evil doings of enemies of the world of Islam, particularly the wounded Zionists," it said.
Earlier Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki also said that Morocco's recent decision to cut its diplomatic ties with Iran was "surprising."
Morocco's Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Friday that Morocco has cut its diplomatic ties with Iran following Tehran's remarks over Bahrain.
The decision was triggered by Iran's "inadmissible attitude" against Morocco, and its "interference" in the country's religious affairs, the release was quoted by Morocco's official MAP news agency as saying.
The move came after the North African country recalled last week its representative in Tehran for consultations for a one-week period after Iran issued a release containing "unacceptable language" against Morocco.
Ali Akbar Nateq Nuri, a prominent member of Iran's powerful Expediency Council, said on Feb. 20 that Bahrain used to be Iran's 14th province.
Tensions between Shiite Iran and much of the Sunni Muslim world were intensified by the remarks. Bahrain, despite having a Shiite majority population, is ruled by the Sunni Khalifa family.
Like many other Sunni countries, Morocco has voiced strong solidarity with Bahrain after the top Iranian official questioned the Gulf country's sovereignty.
In response, Morocco's King Mohammed sent a message to the Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa with "full support for the unity and territorial integrity of the brotherly Kingdom of Bahrain," a Moroccan Foreign Ministry statement said last week.
Morocco's Foreign Minister Taib Fassi Fihri summoned Iran's ambassador Vahid Ahmadi, expressing his displeasure and Morocco's opposition of Iran's stance.
Morocco's relations with Iran were previously cut in the early 1980s, when Morocco hosted the exiled shah after Shiite took power in Iran. Ties had not been normalized until the two countries exchanged envoys in the late 1990s.

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