May 15, 2024, 10:00 AM
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News ID: 85477566
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Niger cuts military ties with US citing threats over Iran, Russia ties

Tehran, IRNA – Niger’s prime minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine has said that the military relationship between the African country and the US was severed after an American official threatened Niamey over its cooperation with Iran and Russia.

Zeine made the remarks in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday, noting that the American administration tried to dictate the foreign policy of Niger, which is not acceptable.

The premier said the Nigerien leaders took particular offense at remarks by Molly Phee, the US State Department’s top official for African affairs, who had urged the government during a March visit to Niamey to refrain from engaging with Iran and Russia in ways objectionable to Washington if Niger wanted to continue its security relationship with the United States.

He also said Phee had further threatened sanctions if Niger pursued a deal to sell uranium to Iran.

In response, Zeine said, “You have come here to threaten us in our country. That is unacceptable. And you have come here to tell us with whom we can have relationships, which is also unacceptable. And you have done it all with a condescending tone and a lack of respect.”

Zeine pointed to ties between Iran and Niger, saying that “absolutely nothing” has been signed with Iran, adding that if a deal had been signed, it would have “not been under the table … but in front of cameras.”

The prime minister further pointed to the US friendship with other nations, noting, “The Americans stayed on our soil, doing nothing while the terrorists killed people and burned towns,” adding, “It is not a sign of friendship to come on our soil but let the terrorists attack us. We have seen what the United States will do to defend its allies.”

An American official told the Politico newspaper on condition of anonymity that all hopes for US military forces to stay in Niger disappeared and Pentagon ordered the withdrawal of all its 1,000 forces from the African country.


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