Contacts With Egypt Underlined

Contacts With Egypt UnderlinedContacts With Egypt Underlined

Two lawmakers supported regular consultations between Iran and Egypt, in the hope that these contacts will help improve relations to serve the interests of the two nations and the wider region.

Their stance was a reaction to statements on Saturday by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry who said his country engages in consultations with Iran to promote security and the interests of Arab nations. Masoud Goudarzi, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told ICANA on Monday that if the current course of developments continues, improved Iran-Egypt cooperation will be a strong possibility.

The lawmaker said Egyptian officials, as well as Turkey's leaders, have realized that the Iranian version of plans for the settlement of regional conflicts is rational and workable. However, despite the fact that they may agree with Iran's proposals to improve regional peace and security, "these countries fear what they think will lead to Iran's rise in the region", and that is an obstacle to Iran's closer cooperation with them. Shoukry, who was speaking at the Manama Dialogue conference on Middle East security in Bahrain, also said Egypt maintains a severance of diplomatic relations with Iran and "has taken no position to change that situation".

"Egypt has always taken the opportunity of such discussions [with Iran] to reemphasize the positions of the Arab nation, the interest of the Arab nation, vis-à-vis what might be expansionary policies of Iran," he said. Iran-Egypt relations have been strained after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Iran broke off ties with Egypt because Cairo offered asylum to Iran's former deposed dictator, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and also due to its 1978 Camp David Accords with the Israeli regime.

The two countries have not exchanged ambassadors, but maintain interests sections in each other's capitals.

Ali Bakhtiar, another lawmaker, was optimistic in an interview with ICANA that Iran's friendly stance toward Egypt will be maintained.

The parliamentarian said Saudi Arabia, a financial supporter of the Egyptian government keen on preventing cooperation between Middle East powers and Iran, has been sidelined in the region due to its "extremist policies" that have endangered regional security. Bakhtiar said this has cleared the way for development of relations with Egypt.

"I hope that Tehran-Cairo relations will develop mutually, in line with the interests of the two countries and the region," he said.


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