‘Iran needs to do more if it wants to have good relations with Egypt’

June 2, 2011 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Iran has to do more if it wants to have a close relationship with Egypt, according to one of the participants of the Islamic Awakening conference that was recently held in Tehran.

Alpha D. Bangura, who is a Sierra Leonean citizen studying at the School of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, made the remarks during an interview with the Tehran Times conducted on the sidelines of an international conference entitled Islamic Awakening: Development in Geo-politics and Culture of the Middle East, which was held at the IRIB International Conference Center on Tuesday.
Asked if he thinks the Egyptian government’s delay in taking major steps to restore diplomatic relations with Iran is an internal issue or is due to foreign pressure, Bangura stated, “It is (due to) foreign pressure. Because, looking at Egypt, basically (the military) are in power and are controlling the institutions and the government, and most of these (military) men got their education in the West and they will listen to them (Western officials).”
He added, “If Iran is to have a kind of close relationship with Egypt, or is trying to have a say in Egypt, I think they need to do more” because Western countries are planning to finance Egypt, and if that happens, “I think it would be somehow tough for Iran to have a kind of relationship with Egypt.”
He also said that the majority of Egyptians have economic problems and that is what led to the uprising, and if Tehran wants to have a close relationship with Cairo or has some goals to accomplish, “I think they (Iranian officials) need to do more.”
Commenting on Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Bahrain, Bangura said that Saudi Arabia is trying to protect the Bahraini regime because if the Bahraini government is toppled, that will have an effect on Saudi Arabia.
Asked if he agrees with the Iranian officials who believe the West is seeking to plunge Syria into turmoil through imposing the will of the minority on the majority, he said, “Any country that has a close relationship with Iran, (will) have to think about forgoing (its) relationship with the West. That is definite.”
In reply to a question about the fact that certain countries have accused Iran of interfering in the internal affairs of regional countries, he stated, “I think Iran is not (interfering) because one of the aims of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with regards to what I have studied, is to (foster) unity among Muslim countries.”
On the stance that the United States and certain other Western countries have adopted toward developments in the Middle East and North Africa, he said, “Their policies are somehow interest-centered.”
When asked to make an assessment of the conference, Bangura replied, “It is good. It is a step toward (fulfilling) the aim of the Founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the late Imam (Khomeini), who actually said in the long run, the oppressed will become the rulers of the world according to Imam Mahdi (AS). So I think the conference basically is a (way) of awakening the people of the Middle East… And I think this conference is a very good thing for those that are still under the regimes of dictators.