Foreign pressure behind delay in restoring Tehran-Cairo ties: Salehi

June 19, 2011

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has cited external political pressure as the cause of delay in resuming diplomatic relationship between Tehran and Cairo.

Both Egyptian and Iranian officials have expressed readiness to resume diplomatic ties, but apparently certain countries are impeding the restoration process, Salehi said on Saturday.
“We understand the Egyptians’ situation and we are sure that the relationship between the two countries will eventually be resorted, but the Egyptians are currently willing to have a time to handle the political pressures,” he said.
In a recent interview with IRNA, Egyptian Ambassador to the UN Maged Abdelaziz has also said that Cairo is optimistic about the prospect of Iran-Egypt ties.
“Iran and Egypt are two great and influential countries in the Islamic world, and we are very optimistic about the future of Tehran-Cairo ties,” the Egyptian envoy said.
In view of the ongoing popular revolution in Egypt, the Egyptian government is reconsidering its relations with other countries, especially the ones which did not have close ties with the Mubarak regime in the past, he said.
“We are very optimistic and hopeful about the restoration of ties with Iran,” Abdelaziz stated.
The Egyptian ambassador added that a series of preliminary arrangements have to be made to prepare the ground for the resumption of ties.
Relations between Cairo and Tehran have been tense for over three decades. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Egypt provided asylum to the deposed shah, and when he succumbed to cancer in 1980, the Egyptian government held a funeral for him that then president Anwar Sadat attended. Tehran severed ties with Cairo in 1979 when it made peace with Israel.
Following the collapse of the Hosni Mubarak regime in January, the new Egyptian government made overtures to Iran. The Iranian officials also welcomed the move.