Iran, Morocco to resume diplomatic ties, says Tehran

Morocco invited Iran to attend last month's meeting in Rabat of the Al-Quds Committee

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Iran will soon resume diplomatic ties with Morocco, severed by Rabat four years ago over Tehran's alleged meddling in the affairs of Bahrain and of Morocco itself, a senior official said Thursday.

"Following a recent phone call between the foreign ministers of the two countries, [they] agreed to resume diplomatic relations," Mehr news agency quoted the deputy foreign minister for Arab affairs, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, as saying.

"The embassies of both countries will soon reopen," he added.

A thaw was noted when Morocco invited Iran to attend last month's meeting in Rabat of the Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Committee, which oversees Muslim interests in the holy city and supports Palestinian aspirations to a state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Sunni Muslim Morocco severed ties with Iran in March 2009, accusing Shiite Tehran of making "inopportune remarks" about Rabat's support for Sunni-ruled Bahrain's regime.

A leading Iranian official had said Bahrain was once Iran's 14th province and that it had a representative in the Iranian parliament.

The tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain had just undergone an Arab Spring-inspired upheaval in which pro-democracy protests by the country's Shiite majority were brutally crushed by the government.

Rabat also denounced alleged attempts by Iran to "change the religious fundamentals" of Morocco, claiming that was an "intolerable interference" in the kingdom's internal affairs.

Iran denied the accusations of interference and also said it respected Bahrain's sovereignty.

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