One of the region’s gaining Iran’s attention to expand its influence has been African countries. These countries have the adequate potential due to their economic poverty.
If we take a look at Iran’s activities in the past 10 years one can see how this regime has expanded its influence in African countries. For example, the Iranian regime has lifted its diplomatic representation in over 30 African countries. One of the most common methods Iran uses is establishing cultural and religious centers. Potential youths are recruited in these centers, and they are sent to Iran along with tourist groups, all free of charge. They are provided money and through a specific process transformed into elements of the Iranian regime. The Quds Force is responsible for establishing and supplying these so-called centers in countries abroad.
The next step is to form militia groups with these individuals and provide military training in Iran under the supervision of Quds Force instructions. Afterwards the militia activities of these groups in countries abroad begin. One can easily see such methods being implemented carried out by Iran in Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and …
It is worth noting that various African countries had raised concerns over Iran’s influence in their internal affairs even before Riyadh-Tehran tensions flared and prior to the Saudi Foreign Minister’s trip.
Why did Sudan severe all relations with Iran, while in the past this country was one of Iran’s strongest allies in Africa? The method used by Tehran in Sudan was no different and a group led by Sheikh Zikzaki in Sudan was formed to take control over the entire country and plunge this country into a lethal sectarian war. In previous articles I provided details in this regard. After Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran following the Revolutionary Guards attacking its embassy and consulate in Tehran and Mashhad, respectively, Sudan used the opportunity and also severed ties with Iran.
Saudi Foreign Ministry Ibrahim al-Ghanduz in remarks said his country chose to severe relations with Tehran as this measure is the best response to Iran crossing the red lines due to its unprecedented in Arab affairs and literally playing with Arab ethnic security. He emphasized Khartoum’s decision was taken in support of Riyadh and was an important message to Tehran to stop its expanding in the region.
Somalia is another country under Iran’s meddling and influence, as it is a nation deep in poverty where Tehran has been establishing “Imam Khomeini Medical Centers”. Through providing medical care and transferring the patients to Iran for further medical care, Iran has been recruiting individuals and their families for the Quds Force. Somalia also reacted quickly after the Saudi embassy was attacked in Tehran, severing diplomatic relations and closing the mentioned medical centers.
The countries of Kumar and Djibouti followed suit and also severed relations with Iran. Of course, both of these countries were under major influence from Iran.
Moreover, according to news reports Iran has been carrying out vast measures in countries such as Senegal, Gambia and other African states.
Saudi Arabia becoming much more active in the Middle East and taking a major stance against Iran’s meddling in other countries has changed the status quo of all of Iran’s calculations.
The foreign trip by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to Sudan and South Africa, along with meeting with African leaders in the Addis Ababa conference, and his visit to Zambia were all part of the efforts that quickly rendered results in forming a major Islamic coalition against terrorism and many countries in Africa severing ties with Tehran.
Experience has shown that one must only stand firm against Iran with force. Otherwise the mullahs in Tehran will continue its advances.