The Royal Institute for Strategic Studies held a one-day conference in cooperation with the International Institute for Iranian Studies (Rasanah) at its headquarters in Rabat on April 8, 2019, entitled, “Iran’s Impacts on North Africa and the Sahel Region’ The participants in the conference included scholars and academics from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Libya and Mauritania. The conference tackled four main topics: Iranian foreign policy towards North Africa and the Sahel region, Iran’s presence in North Africa and the Sahel region amidst international rivalry, Iran’s Influence in North Africa and the Sahel region in light of the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, and the future of Iran’s relationship with North Africa in light of new regional tensions.
The President of the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies Mohammed Tawfik Mouline delivered his opening remarks. The conference’s inauguration also included a speech delivered by the President of Rasanah Dr. Mohammed Alsulami.
The Conference’s Concluding Statement:
Iran’s expanding influence targets North Africa, though it is geographically far away from Tehran. Iran seizes any opportunity available to exploit ongoing conflicts and disputes as well as instability in some regional countries to entrench its presence and to expand its influence. Therefore, Iran adopts political and ideological Shiism and uses soft power tools directly and indirectly through its cultural consulates and embassies as well as through launching economic projects. According to Iran, North Africa is a gateway to the African continent, representing rich territory for its expansionist project. The countries in the region need to pay attention to Iran’s growing influence as they have a common destiny in this regard. They should collaborate to forge a comprehensive strategy to confront Iran’s interventionism in the region.
The President of Rasanah and the President of the Royal Institute for Strategic Studies signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on research projects and academic exchanges, as well as to organize joint conferences, workshops, and seminars of mutual interest.