Shiite/Army Clash: Nigeria-Iran Row Deepens, Tehran Recalls Envoy

[caption id="attachment_8733" align="alignnone" width="660"]Mr Saheed Kozechi, Iran Ambassador to Nigeria[/caption]

All is still not well with Nigeria-Iran relationship as indications emerged late Wednesday evening that the Islamic Republic of Iran may have recalled its ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Saheed Kozechi.

Both countries have tilted on the edge of diplomatic impasse since Nigeria military killed hundreds of Shiites in the Nigerian city of Zaria in Kaduna state last December and the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (ISM), Sheik El-Zakzaky, wounded and detained since then.

The incident angered Tehran which has called on the Nigerian government to release the detained cleric, with threats of possible reprisals over the matter.

The latest recall according to a source was to avert possible litigation over comments attributed to Kozechi in the wake of the army-Shiite clash, which threatened Nigeria and the Federal Government.

The source also alleged that the envoy was fingered in the clandestine funding and instigation of the Shiite sect in Nigeria.

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A top diplomatic source who asked not to be named as he was not permitted to speak said that Kozechi was withdrawn “to avoid litigation filed against the country and the ambassador in Nigeria and other international fora from ECOWAS Court to ICC.”

Efforts to get the foreign ministry to comment on the latest development was unsuccessful as the director of press was said to be unavailable.

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