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Somalia denies reports of Iranian diplomats’ possible expulsion

Hiiraan Online
Thursday January 7, 2016

MOGADISHU (HOL) – Somalia’s government has denied reports that it plans to expel Iranian diplomats in the horn of Africa in response to the diplomatic fallout between Saudi Arabia and Iran which continues to spread to other countries after Saudi embassy attack in Tehran.

The development comes one day after Somali government condemned the embassy attack, calling it as a ‘flagrant’ violation of international laws after Saudi Arabia cut all diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday.

However, Somalia’s foreign minster Abdisalam Hadliye said that Somalia still maintains a ‘warm’ relationship with Iran, denying reports that his government aims to expel Iranian diplomats in Mogadishu by siding with the Saudi government.

“Those reports are baseless, out mutual relationship remains the same despite the fact that Somali intelligence arrested Iranians for visiting a wrong place.” He told BBC Somali Service in an interview Wednesday.

The minster’s remarks come following an outrage by Somalis who took to the social media in response to the possible expulsion of Iranian diplomats by the Mogadishu-based government, calling the government not to join a war which is not hers.

“We should not take a blind decision by madly following Saudi Arabia which continues to expel and abuse our fellow citizens in their country.” Tweeted Mohamed Nur, a Somali Belgian in Athens.

“Iran has done no mistake to receive an unfair decision from us. Please look before you do it.” He said. 

Meanwhile, more countries in Middle East have followed Saudi Arabia and severed ties with Iran.

UAE, Bahrain and Sudan are the latest countries that sided with Saudi Arabia in its diplomatic row with Iran.

In the meantime, there have been reports that the tiny horn of Africa nation of Djibouti has also cut ties with Iran, according to the Saudi-funded Alarabiya TV, however, the Djibouti government hasn’t yet confirmed the report.

Saudi Arabia said it has taken the action after Iranian protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, ransacking and setting fire to the building in retaliation for Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric and 46 others on Saturday," Business Insider reported. 


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