'Gambia under US pressure over Iran'
Gambia has severed ties with Iran under pressure from the United States seeking to harm relations between Iran and African states, a senior Iranian lawmaker says, Press TV reported.
"This move is done under pressure from the US and in line with its policy to damage Iran's relations with various countries, including Africa [countries],"chairman of the Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Aleddin Boroujerdi told IRNA on Tuesday.
Boroujerdi said that since taking power, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pursued a policy of enhancing relations with African countries.
The Iranian lawmaker, however, added that the Islamic Republic did not have high-level relations with Gambia.
On Monday, Gambia's foreign ministry said in a statement that the country has severed all economic and diplomatic relations with Iran and set a 48-hour deadline for Iranian government officials to leave the West African country.
"All government of the Gambia projects and programs, which were implemented in cooperation with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been cancelled," the statement read.
"The Gambia government hereby requests all Iranian nationals representing the interest of the government of Iran in Gambia to leave the country within 48 hours from the effective date stipulated through a notification issued to the government of Iran," the statement added.
Gambia, which is among small countries on the African continent, gave no reason for the decision to sever ties with the Islamic Republic.