Why US is concerned about Iran's growing influence in Africa?
The US government is becoming increasingly concerned over Iran’s “persistent and growing influence” in Africa, which has flown under the radar of many Western observers, according an article published in Newsweek.
In a wildly inaccurate op-ed, the weekly US magazine claimed without evidence that Iran’s government and armed forces have “provided support to violent extremist organizations” in Africa to counter the influence of the United States, Israel and Arab nations in the Persian Gulf.
However, Iran has repeatedly been the target of various terror groups funded by the US and its allies in region and has played a key role in the defeat of ISIS/Daesh and al-Qaeda in neighboring Iraq and Syria.
The presence of terrorist groups in Africa has been an excuse for global powers to re-enter these countries. This was seen in the French military intervention in Mali and the US military campaign in Somalia.
Washington has previously expressed concern about closer relations between Iran and Africa, since Tehran has inspired independence movements across the continent and curbed the influence of the US and its allies.
Iran has been a strong supporter of governments opposed to US hegemony, including Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon in the Middle East, as well as Venezuela and Bolivia in Latin America.
Terrorist groups in Africa an excuse for Western powers to exploit continent
Despite the departure of former colonial powers from African countries, Western neocolonialists are spreading terrorism to justify and expand their military presence in the continent.
These countries have been inciting sedition and discord in the region for their own interests.
This has raised doubts about the connection of Western countries with terrorist groups.
After the defeat of terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, many experts believe the West decided to use Africa as a breeding ground for terrorism and spread violence.