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March 8, 2017 6:30 pm

Report: Iran’s Efforts to Expand Global Influence Flourishing in West African Nation of Nigeria

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s efforts to expand its global influence are bearing fruit in the West African nation of Nigeria, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Around half of Nigeria’s population of 190 million people are Muslims, the report said, and while most Muslims there are Sunnis, there is also a sizable and growing Iran-aligned Shiite community.

“If Iran wants our help, we are ready to go and help it, even with our blood,” Bloomberg quoted 30-year-old Nigerian man Bashir Muhammad — a Shiite convert — as saying. “Donald Trump needs to know that Iran has followers all over the world ready to help defend it against America.”

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In addition to threatening US interests, the Tehran regime’s push into West Africa — nourished by its funding of religious centers that operate schools and train clerics — is also a “direct challenge” to arch-rival Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi brand of Islam that Riyadh propagates around the world, the Bloomberg report said.

West Africa is not the only region outside the Middle East where Iran is seeking to assert itself. As reported by The Algemeiner in September, the July 2015 nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers has emboldened the Islamic Republic’s global ambitions — including its bid to build an anti-America axis in Latin America.

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