Iran Pursues Closer Ties With Egypt
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reached out to Egypt’s newly elected leader Mohammed Morsi via phone on July 4, inviting Morsi to a summit in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry says it’s ready to send an ambassador to Egypt, and Iranian media is full of speculation that the 30-plus years of frosty relations between Iran and Egypt are over.
Iranian media report that Ahmadinejad invited Morsi to attend the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, scheduled for August 26 to 31. Morsi is the secretary general of the movement, and Ahmadinejad is scheduled to take over.
“Egypt’s role in this movement is undeniable, and constructive cooperation between Iran and Egypt in this movement can produce many positive results,” said Ahmadinejad.
The Islamic Republic News Agency (irna), Iran’s official news agency, reported that Morsi said he hoped to meet with Ahmadinejad at the sidelines of the summit. “Iran and Egypt will follow the path toward the realization of all aspirations and hopes of the two nations,” said Morsi, according to the irna.
Reports in Iranian media that Morsi is planning to attend the summit have been denied by Morsi’s spokesman. The spokesman has said he plans to suit Fars news agency over similar statements.
Iran’s state media also quoted Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi saying that Iran is ready to engage in “ambassadorial-level” ties with Egypt. “The election of Morsi to serve as the Egyptian president has opened a new chapter in the country’s foreign policy,” he was quoted as saying.
Fahr’s new agency reports that Ahmadinejad told a meeting in Tehran on June 20: “Only the news of unity between Iran and Egypt will make timorous and coward Zionists prefer to escape rather than to stay in the region.”
A headline in the Jerusalem Post reports: “Iran’s media ‘optimistic’ about relations with Egypt.”
Egypt is also showing some enthusiasm for rapprochement. “The Arab world’s leading Islamic institution, al-Azhar University, has called on Cairo to boost its relationship with Arab countries and Iran,” wrote Egyptian independent news outlet Bikya Masr.
It reports that the chancellor of Islamic Studies at the university, Ahmed al-Tayyib, told an Iranian delegation that growing cultural and diplomatic ties between the two nations would be a step in the “right direction.”
He hoped “relations between Arab countries and Iran will improve,” he said. He also told the delegation that Egypt needs a foreign policy that does “not differentiate between Shiites and Sunnis, to help the countries counter their joint threat.”
Since the fall of Mubarak, Egypt and Iran have taken momentous steps toward rapprochement. In February, Iranian warships received permission from Egypt to travel through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean. Even a phone conversation between the two leaders is a huge step forward in Egypt-Iranian relations.
Israeli’s ambassador to Egypt is being harassed and Egypt’s parliament has even called on him to leave. It won’t be long before the Israeli ambassador is gone and the Iranian ambassador is welcomed.
Continue to watch this historic shift in alignment. An Iranian-Egyptian alignment is a grave threat—not just to Israel but to Europe as well. Together, the two would have the potential to destroy Europe’s economy by disrupting shipping and oil supplies.
The budding relationship between the two countries is something the Trumpet has warned about for a long time. To find out why, and how this alliance will rock the world, read our article “Egypt and Libya to Join Iran’s Terror Network.”