Foreign Hands in Egypt ‘Likely,’ Says Iran Foreign Ministry

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Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Aragchi suggested that foreign hands could be at work in weakening Egypt and called the military’s move against President Mohammed Morsi’s government “unacceptable.” The statements were issued before today’s shooting by the military that reportedly left dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members dead.

“Certainly foreign hands are at work, and this cannot be denied,” said Aragchi. “Either way, Egypt is a great Islamic country and has been the intellectual vanguard of many movements and thoughts in the Arab and Islamic world. Egypt’s strength is the strength of the Islamic world, and Egypt’s weakness is the weakness of the Islamic world. And certainly a strong Egypt is not desired by Western countries or the Zionist regime. Therefore, it is natural to know their interference as likely.”

“The interference of the military in political matters is not acceptable and is a cause for worry,” Aragchi continued. “Pushing Egyptian society into differences and creating a divided society is a dangerous situation. All the transformations are taking place together, and this makes it complicated.”

On his assessment of Egypt today, Araghchi said, “The events in Egypt are still hazy and their different dimensions are not yet clear. On one hand, the demands of the people of Egypt are present, and these demands started at the time of the revolution, when the people wanted the overthrow of [deposed president Hosni] Mubarak, and at different times different mistakes were repeated. In the latest events, a wider range of opposition and demands were expressed. What is important is to give importance to the legitimate demands of the people.”

Aragchi said, “We hope unity is protected in Egyptian society and that calm and stability are returned to Egypt’s political community.”

Chairman of Iran’s parliamentary commission on national security Alaeddin Borujerdi also spoke today about Egypt’s current political turmoil.

On the arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, Borujerdi said, “This will be a provoking act for their supporters to enter the scene, but [the Muslim Brotherhood] should accept early elections. It’s a difficult thing but it’s the only path toward an understanding, because a continuation of the existing situation is dangerous for Egypt and the region.”

“Iran will certainly not interfere in the internal crisis of Egypt,” he added. “But we are ready to use our capacity to create calm to help Egypt.”

Borujerdi continued, “Certainly, America and the Zionist regime are happy about this crisis. Therefore, Egypt’s national interests must take priority. After one year of ruling, [the Brotherhood] was entangled with many problems, the army interfered and the people became divided. Therefore, if the leaders of the two sides fuel the conflict, it’s possible that Egypt will move toward an internal crisis or even toward violence or underground armed movements, which will be a tragedy for Egyptian society.”

“They must not give permission to provide the ground for extremist and well- known elements,” Borujerdi concluded. “Or Egypt will move toward unfortunate events like [those in] Syria and Iraq.”