Egypt is Open to ‘Positive Iranian Signals’ on Developing Relations

Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his reception of the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and his accompanying delegation (Khamenei website)
Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his reception of the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and his accompanying delegation (Khamenei website)
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Egypt is Open to ‘Positive Iranian Signals’ on Developing Relations

Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his reception of the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and his accompanying delegation (Khamenei website)
Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during his reception of the Sultan of Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, and his accompanying delegation (Khamenei website)

Iran has displayed several signs about its willingness to boost bilateral relations with Egypt, according to well-informed Egyptian sources on Tuesday.

 

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Cairo is open to developing bilateral ties with Tehran in a manner consistent with the main political determinants that govern Egypt's regional policies.

 

Relations between Egypt and Iran have often been fraught in recent decades, although the two countries have maintained diplomatic contacts.

 

The sources pointed out that the repeated Iranian signals regarding developing relations with Egypt "were welcomed."

 

They recalled Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian's statement last July, who said that the "development of relations between Tehran and Cairo is in the interest of both nations."

 

It was followed by a tweet by the head of Iran's Interests Section Office in Cairo, Mohammad Hossein Soltanifar, praising what he said is Egyptian rejection of an American alliance project against Iran.

 

Soltanifar continued to hint at the improvement of relations between Cairo and Tehran through an article he published in the Iran Daily newspaper and reported by the Iranian News Agency on Saturday.

 

He said the current developments "require raising the bilateral relations between the two countries... to the desired political level."

 

In December, the Iranian foreign minister welcomed a proposal by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani aimed at "launching a dialogue between Cairo and Tehran."

 

During their meeting in Jordan, Amir-Abdollahian said the Iraqi prime minister expressed the desire to launch Iranian-Egyptian talks on the security and political levels, which leads to improving ties between the two nations.

 

On March 06, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Tehran hoped relations with Cairo would be restored, adding that Iran is taking advantage of all opportunities to improve foreign relations, including with Egypt.

 

Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei received Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq Al Said during his visit to Iran.

 

During the meeting, the Sultan of Oman pointed to Egypt's willingness to resume relations with Iran, and Khamenei emphasized that Iran welcomes this position and has no problems in this regard.

 

Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told Asharq Al-Awsat that recent reports about Cairo's desire to improve its ties are a "principled position," noting that both sides are interested in developing relations.

 

Fahmy added that over the past years, during his position as a minister, he had maintained contacts with Iranian authorities, adding that officials discussed the importance of developing the bilateral relations and "favored that."

 

Observers believe the Iranian signals, including Khamenei's statements, coincide with changes to ease regional tensions.

 

In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore diplomatic relations under a deal brokered by China.

 

Fahmy pointed out that after the death of the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in Cairo, Iran pursued a harsh policy towards the Arab world in general, including Egypt, with an attempt to export the "revolution" at a particular stage.

 

He indicated that with the change in Iranian policy, it was logical for Arab countries to test the waters to see if this reflects a strategic shift towards the Middle East.

 

The diplomat believes there is a shift in the Iranian position, hoping that improving relations with regional countries will be a priority and primary concern.

 

Fahmy referred to the Saudi-Iranian agreement and the Egyptian-Iranian contacts, which he considered a prelude to discussing the restoration of relations, especially after the visit of the Omani leaders to Cairo and Tehran.

 

Member of the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs, Nourhan al-Sheikh, believes that fundamental determinants regulate the normalization of relations between Cairo and Tehran.

 

Sheikh explained that some of these determinants have already been achieved, such as the Gulf acceptance and reassurances regarding the security of the Gulf countries.

 

She told Asharq Al-Awsat that the second determinant is Iran's position on supporting Islamic movements, asserting the importance of this issue which requires reassurances that Tehran would not interfere in Egypt's domestic affairs.

 

 

 



Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
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Lebanon: Israeli Strike in Tyr Kills Two Women, Injures 19

Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)
Border fence between Lebanon and Israel (AFP)

In the early hours of Friday, an Israeli strike on a building east of the port city of Tyr left two civilian women dead and more than a dozen wounded, many of them children, according to two Lebanese security sources.
Asked about the incident, the Israeli military said it was looking into it.
Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper named the victims, noting that one of the women was a paramedic of Al Risala Association for Health Care.
"Israeli media said the strike was an assassination mission", the newspaper quoted sources close to Hezbollah as saying.
The victims and the injured were civilians, added the sources, noting that rescue operations continue to pull survivors from under the rubble.
Hezbollah said in a statement earlier that it had fired volleys of Katyusha and Falaq rockets at six Israeli military locations. Its Al-Manar television reported more than 100 rockets fired at once.