Simultaneous visits of Biden and Putin to region evoke West-East confrontation: diplomat

July 15, 2022 - 21:34

TEHRAN – An Iranian diplomat has said that the simultaneous visits of the presidents of the United States and Russia to the West Asia region conjure up images of West-East confrontation.

The diplomat, Mohammad Hossein Soltanifard, the head of the office representing Iran’s interests in Cairo, said Iran is the central part of any equation in the region.

Biden started a visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia from July 13-16. Putin will also visit Iran on July 19. Putin will attend a trilateral meeting with the leaders of Iran and Turkey, the so-called Astana format of meetings for Syria-related talks.

Putin's visit to Iran immediately after Biden’s trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia “evokes, once again, the East-West confrontation,” Soltanifard said on Twitter.
Soltanifard added, “Iran will still be the bridge of victory, with the difference that the Islamic Republic of Iran is considered the main part of any equation in the region at this point.”

Soltanifard has been appointed as the representative of Iran’s interests in Egypt recently. He replaced Nasser Kanaani, who is now the spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry. He went to Cairo on July 11.

Earlier, he also praised Cairo's position in opposing the American project to establish an alliance against the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Egypt's opposition to the illusory dream of the United States to create an alliance against the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of the silence of other countries participating in the Jeddah Summit is commendable and understandable.,” he said on Twitter, according to Al Alam.

He added, “And this project, like the project to create the Greater Middle East and the deal of the century, will be born dead, God willing.”

Iran and Egypt have held a high-level meeting in recent weeks and have agreed to boost their relations, according to a Qatari-owned newspaper.

Citing Egyptian diplomatic sources, Al Araby Al Jadeed said new developments have taken place in the relations between Tehran and Cairo ahead of a mid-July visit by U.S. President Joe Biden to the region. “A high-level meeting, which took place during the recent visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to the Sultanate of Oman early last week, brought together Egyptian and Iranian officials,” the sources told Al Araby Al Jadeed in early July. They added that the meeting was attended by a high-ranking figure from the delegation accompanying the Egyptian president with Omani coordination.

The sources indicated that the meeting “was of a security nature in general, and touched upon the situation in the Gaza Strip and Syria,” adding that “there were many points of agreement between the two parties, and that the coming period may witness direct coordination between Cairo and Tehran on issues and matters related to the Strip.”

According to the sources, “during the meeting, an agreement was reached on joint coordination in international forums, as long as that was possible, in light of the desire of Cairo and Tehran to reach a good level of relations, provided that they would gradually improve, according to the developments of events in the region.”

In his visit to Oman, the Egyptian president was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Chief of General Intelligence Abbas Kamel, Minister of Planning Hala Saeed, and a number of other officials.

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