Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Morsi keen to renew long-severed Iran ties

25 June 2012, 13:49

 Dubai - Egypt's Islamist President-elect Mohamed Morsi has said he wants to restore long-severed ties with Tehran to create a strategic "balance" in the region, in an interview published on Monday with Iran's Fars news agency.

Morsi's comments may unsettle Western powers as they seek to isolate Iran over its disputed nuclear programme, which they suspect it is using to build atomic bombs. Tehran denies this.

Diplomatic relations between Egypt and Iran were severed more than 30 years ago, but both countries have signalled a shift in policy since former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year in a popular uprising.

"We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region," Morsi was quoted as saying in a transcript of the interview.

Rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite giant Iran has been intensified by "Arab Spring" revolts, which have redrawn the political map of the Middle East and left the powerful Gulf neighbours vying for influence.

Fars said it had spoken to Morsi a few hours before the result of the vote was announced on Sunday.

Asked to comment on reports that, if elected, his first state visit would be to Riyadh, Morsi said: "I didn't say such a thing and until now my first international visits following my victory in the elections have not been determined".

Iran subsequently hailed Morsi's victory over former general Ahmed Shafik in Egypt's first free presidential election as a "splendid vision of democracy" that marked the country's final phase of an "Islamic Awakening".

The West, Gulf states and Israel reacted with caution to the result, welcoming the democratic process that led to Morsy's election, but stressing that Egypt's stability was their main priority.

Camp David review

In contrast to comments he made in a televised address after his victory was announced on Sunday, Fars news quoted Morsy as saying Egypt's Camp David peace accord with Israel "will be reviewed", without elaborating.

The peace treaty remains a lynchpin of U.S. Middle East policy and, despite its unpopularity with many Egyptians, was staunchly upheld by Mubarak, who also suppressed the Muslim Brotherhood movement to which Morsi belongs.

The Sunni Brotherhood, whose Palestinian offshoot Hamas rules the Gaza Strip, is vehemently critical of Israel, which has watched the rise of Islamists and ongoing political upheaval in neighbouring Egypt with growing concern.

Egypt's formal recognition of Israel and Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution led to the breakdown of diplomatic relations in 1980. The two countries - among the biggest and most influential in the Middle East - still have reciprocal interest sections, but not at ambassadorial level.

Egypt's foreign minister said last year that Cairo was ready to re-establish diplomatic relations with Iran, which has hailed most Arab Spring uprisings as anti-Western rebellions inspired by its own Islamic Revolution.

Yet Iran has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Tehran's closest Arab ally, who is grappling with a revolt against his rule, and at home has continued to reject demands for reform, which spilled onto the street following the disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...