Iran’s appetite for Africa is no longer in question. With partners like Algeria and South Africa, and relying on Shiite proselytizing, the mullahs’ regime is preparing its presence in force on the continent, with plans for destabilization. Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa:
Iran’s appetite for Africa is no longer in question. With partners like Algeria and South Africa, and relying on Shiite proselytizing, the mullahs’ regime is preparing its presence in force on the continent, with plans for destabilization.
The Iranian nuclear threat
Iran could make enough fissile for one nuclear bomb in “about 12 days,” a top U.S. Defense Department official said on Tuesday, down from the estimated one year it would have taken while the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was in effect.
It is a ghost likely to haunt relations between Iran, the Western powers, China and Russia against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. The Iran nuclear deal is moribund, but no one among the negotiators is keen to officially acknowledge the failure of the negotiations that have been underway since Joe Biden returned to office in the hope of salvaging the compromise denounced by his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump, in 2018.
Iran’s alliances in Africa
Hezbollah: the must-see documentary on the Shiite mafia linked to Iran
A brilliant investigation shows how Hezbollah thrives on its global drug empire. Since the explosion in the port of Beirut in 2020, the question remains: who is responsible for this catastrophe? Officially, the culprit was a cargo ship carrying ammonium nitrate. But what independent investigations tend to show is that this stockpile is linked to Hezbollah, when this Lebanese Shiite party linked to Iran was gathering weapons to support Bashar al-Assad. A shocking revelation that leads to another: since the 1990s at least, and still during the war in Syria, Hezbollah was financed by… drug trafficking!
This is the conclusion of the excellent work of journalists Jérôme Fritel and Sofia Amara. To demonstrate this thesis, they were able to base themselves on the discoveries of the DEA, the American anti-drug agency. This allows them to draw, little by little, a worldwide mafia network that allows Hezbollah to prosper. We discover party activists in the cocaine business in Colombia, then others laundering money in France and West Africa, and finally members of the movement buying weapons in Eastern Europe. The Lebanese are also losing out. With the narcodollars, Hezbollah has been able to control large parts of their country: the banks, major industries, and then de facto the state.
Hezbollah also serves, through a large network established in Africa, to strengthen Iran’s alliances on the continent, both religiously (Shiite proselytizing) and economically and militarily.
The masterful program poses an essential question: will Hezbollah continue to act with impunity for much longer, when the West has put an end to the DEA operation targeting this party in order to please Tehran?
Iran – Algeria – South Africa axis
The “little” Mandella, the usurper
In early August, Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela, received the Islamic Human Rights Award in Tehran.
“It is wonderful to be in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country and nation that inspired my grandfather while he was in prison,” he said. “The success of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, led by Imam Khomeini, constitutes one of the greatest defeats of modern imperialism.”
A few months before receiving the award, motorists in Menlyn, a suburb of Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, discovered a strange billboard depicting Nelson Mandela, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran.
Zwelivelile Mandela, nicknamed Mandla, grandson of Nelson Mandela, has drawn criticism for unfortunate statements in which he attacked Morocco’s integrity, saying it must “fight to free the Sahara from injustice. He also said that what he called “the last colony that exists in Africa” should not be forgotten. These remarks, made at the opening ceremony of the 2023 African Cup of Nations U17, could be explained by a financial agreement whereby Algeria would contribute just over $100,000 to a project in South Africa that Mandla himself is promoting.
Everything starts from the moment Mandla’s statements are carefully prepared according to Algiers. Indeed, according to Algerian sources, Mandela had been negotiating for weeks with the Algerian authorities to finalize an agreement on the speech that was to take place at the Baraki Stadium in Algiers.
Cooperation on all fronts, including military
Algeria and Iran have already signed in 2002, in Tehran, a memorandum of cooperation on the military field that can be the subject of an exchange of experiences between the armies of both countries. The minutes also provides for the strengthening, development and diversification of relations between the Algerian and Iranian armies to consolidate the existing ties between the peoples of the two countries.
Even if the Algerian army has already signed similar agreements with other partners around the world, it is worth noting the somewhat special nature of this rapprochement between Algeria and Iran in the military field.
Even the director of the U.S. intelligence agency, the CIA, Bill Burns, is concerned about the increasingly close ties between Tehran and Moscow.
This military cooperation is accelerating “in a direction that is very dangerous insofar as we know that the Iranians have already provided hundreds of armed drones to the Russians, which they are using to hurt Ukrainian civilians” and hit infrastructure, he said.
According to a report by the Policy Center for the New South (Think Tank), Iran has also received support from African countries in the United Nations and other regional and international organizations. For example, the head of South Africa’s parliament had declared his country’s support for Iran’s membership in the BRICS in 2017.
Beyond this diplomatic support, South Africa remains Iran’s largest trading partner in Africa.
The case of South Africa is enlightening in order to understand the contradictions contradictions of the South African sensitivity to the ideological sirens of the of the Islamic Republic of Iran. On the one hand, it has On the one hand, it has long been the continent’s leading economy, a long industrialized country, with private sectors (in mining or telecommunications, for example) and telecommunications, for example) and financial sectors (banking and venture capital), for which it is the only African country to be a member of the BRICS and the G20, a hegemon of southern Africa, a heavyweight of the African Union, that Algeria Union, which Algeria has sought to associate in a so-called G4 format with Nigeria and Ethiopia. On the other hand, it is the “rainbow nation,” with democracy, a vibrant civil society, federalism, all of which are rather functional.
But, because of its history, it is also a state that is very sensitive to Third Worldism, to the question of the legacy of colonization. The combination of being a diplomatic leader, a leading economy economy while developing a Third World identity on the international scene makes it a priority state for Iran – the weight of its Iran – the weight of its economy explains its place as the country’s leading trade partner on the continent. Nevertheless, its democratic model could also put it at odds with an increasingly with an Islamic Republic that is increasingly ideologically at odds with the at odds with the international system.
During a visit to Pretoria in May 2022, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that Iran “imposes no restrictions on relations with South Africa, and that the new [Iranian] government is committed to further developing its relations with African states.
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa: The recent travels of the Tehran regime’s dignitaries to Africa reflect a forcing by Iran in the continent. The message is clear: “we are going to be a major player in the Sahara & Sahel, with the support of our partners” Algerians and South Africans.
In addition to its geostrategic importance, the Maghreb is also the gateway to the Sahel, a region where powers like Russia are taking advantage of instability and strong anti-French sentiment to consolidate their influence. Tehran could also take advantage of this situation to establish itself in the region.
In fact, the Iranian regime has sent delegations to Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso in recent weeks, countries with which Tehran is seeking to strengthen relations in various fields, such as economics, politics and health, according to Iran’s deputy foreign minister for political affairs, Ali Bagheri-Kani. The diplomat also announced that Iran would appoint an ambassador to Ouagadougou and offer scholarships to Burkinabe students in Iranian universities.
In Nouakchott, Mauritanian President Mohammad Ould Al-Ghazwani received the head of Iranian diplomacy to discuss bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them in various sectors. According to analysts quoted by the British newspaper, Mauritania is high on Iran’s list of priorities because of its geographical location.
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa
Aiming to fuel the rejection of the West in the country, Bagheri-Kani criticized Western counter-terrorism measures in the Sahel, even accusing France of supporting terrorist groups, as reported by Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The Revolutionary Guards play a leading role in Africa, especially in countries suffering from instability. This paves the way for Iran’s penetration of the continent,” says Arash Aziz, an Iranian analyst and professor at New York University. “Under the leadership of Qassem Soleimani, the Quds Force has also expanded its actions in a number of civil wars in sub-Saharan Africa and, most importantly, the Central African Republic,” he adds. However, the Iranian analyst points out that the Iranian forces have been replaced, in part, by the Kremlin-linked Wagner Group.
Iran, ally of the terrorist separatist movement of the polisario
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa: For some time, Morocco has warned of the growing influence of Iran and its related groups, such as Hezbollah, in North Africa. Tehran and the Lebanese Shiite organization are said to be penetrating the region through their links with the Polisario Front.
Recently, the senile Muppets show made in Algeria negotiated and graciously provided the polisario with Iranian military drones, completed the construction of the second runway of the Tindouf airport under the supervision of Wagner, and surreptitiously transferred sophisticated equipment such as air defense systems, including the most advanced Russian radar, the Rezonans-NE, to the Tindouf military base. The avowed objective of Algiers is the neutralization of Moroccan air capabilities, especially with regard to drones.
This radar is characterized by long-range surveillance capabilities, and is used to monitor the movements of unmanned aircraft. It provides information on all areas covered by air defense systems.
It should be noted that the Iranian presence in the region, furthermore mediated by Algeria, has caused great controversy at the closed session of the meetings of Arab foreign ministers of the last Arab summit.
Shiism: a vector for Iranian intrusion
According to a Pew Research Center survey, in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, about 12 per cent of the Muslim population (about 90 million people) consider themselves Shiites. This number was close to zero in 1980. The percentage rises to 21 per cent for Muslims in Chad, 20 per cent in Tanzania and eight per cent in Ghana, according to the same survey.
In Nigeria, Tehran is said to be organizing the training of a large number of recruits by the Lebanese Hezbollah. Beyond these Nigerian politico-religious networks, Tehran also proposed to Cameroon to strengthen their bilateral anti-terrorist cooperation in 2014. On the economic front, Tehran has offered to sell Cameroon oil and to cooperate in strengthening the country’s infrastructure and pharmaceutical industry.
In 2022, the rumor is insistent in Tunis: 263 Iranians were expected in Mahdia (East) to commemorate the ‘Achoura, August 7 and 8. And another group of Shiite Algerians should do the same in Kairouan (Center). An event that does not have the same meaning for Sunnis and Shiites.
For the latter, the ‘Ashura is the commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein and his family during the battle of Kerbala in 680, while the Sunnis thank God for allowing Moses to cross the Red Sea and escape Pharaoh.
Shiism: a vector for Iranian intrusion
The information is surprising, as Tunisia is not a land of pilgrimage or religious tourism. But in recent months, the Shiite issue has come back regularly and persistently.
The small Iranian tropism of President Kaïs Saïed also raises questions. His relationship with Iran intrigues since he took office in October 2019 and his willingness to surround himself with relatives such as the former Tunisian ambassador to Tehran, Tarak Bettaieb, who will be his chief of staff. Naoufel Saïed, brother and unofficial adviser of the president, co-leader of the Tunisian League for Culture and Plurality, is a notorious admirer of the thought of the Iranian Ali Shariati, the ideologist of the Iranian revolution.
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa
Iran’s plans for destabilizing Africa: Iran’s appetite for Africa is no longer in question. With partners like Algeria and South Africa, and relying on Shiite proselytizing, the mullahs’ regime is preparing its presence in force on the continent, with plans for destabilization.
It is also possible that synergies will be built between Russians and Iranians in Africa. For example, in Algeria, or even in Mali. According to American security sources, the Russian-Iranian rapprochement is indeed substantial: delivery of hundreds of Iranian drones, technical advice to the Pasdaran for their use, possible delivery of ballistic missiles in the context of the war in Ukraine against delivery of helicopters and technical/technological support to the Iranian military-security complex.
Given Russia’s interest in West Africa, there is a real possibility that the Iranians will follow this dynamic into theaters of conflict. Especially in the Sahel. With regard to support for the Polisario Front, before the possible arrival of Iranian drones, there had been rumors that Wagner could train the Polisario.
Shiism remains a gateway for Iran in Africa. The continent’s burgeoning demographics provide a breeding ground for Shiite proselytizing. It is increasing the proportion of Shiites (currently 12% of Muslims) and, in turn, Iran’s influence.