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



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.”

Morsi ‘Confused Friends With Enemies,’ Says Iranian Cleric


Tehran Friday Prayer Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami criticized ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi’s government today for not being able to distinguish between “friends and enemies.”

Although Iran had initially hope to improve relations with Egypt very quickly, many differences have surfaced. Yesterday, Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi faulted Morsi for “continuing the old policies” of deposed president Hosni Mubarak.

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Iran’s Foreign Minister Defends Visa Waivers for Egyptians


An extensive interview with Mashreg News on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi covered a wide range of topics, two of the more interesting topics being the first flight between Cairo and Tehran in 34 years and the attack on the British Embassy in Tehran in November 2011.

On Saturday the first commercial flights between Tehran and Cairo in 34 years took place. Salehi was asked about domestic criticism regarding the measures taken to improve ties between the two countries. Iran has waived visa requirements for Egyptians visiting the country while Egypt has not only not returned the favor, but has announced that Iranians in Egypt would have restrictions visiting Cairo to prevent them from visiting Shia shrines.

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Member of Islamic Coalition Party: “If Ahmadinejad is deposed, a problem will not occur for the regime”

Hamid Reza Taraghi, a prominent member of the Islamic Coalition Party, in an interview  with Asr-e Iran, has said that while the regime “in the next couple of months has the capacity to tolerate Ahmadinejad, if Ahmadinejad is to be deposed, a problem will not occur for the regime.”

Taraghi went on: “In the end efforts will be made to see this government reaches its culmination, but if it doesn’t, we are not very worried that a problem will occur in the country. Naturally, if someone is after disrupting the conditions of the country, he is playing a role in the enemy’s puzzle and the regime can solve these kinds of issues.”

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Minister of Trade and Industry acknowledges sanctions “crippling” Iranian economy

Mehdi Ghazanfari, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has stated in a meeting of the Supreme Provincial Councils that the current sanctions against Iran are different from those of the past and described them as “crippling”.

Ghazanfari also said, “sanctions have pressured the economy of the country and have been an obstacle for our securing its needs, because we haven’t had currency, nor could the Central Bank transfer currency  and nor transport for importing the goods needed by the country”.

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Foreign Minister Salehi in Cairo

Foreign Affairs

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in Damascus Mehr News Agency reports. Details continue to be sparse other than Salehi went to Damascus to discuss the “special circumstances” of Syria.

This visit follows on the heels of Salehi’s visit to Cairo, for a meeting of the “contact group” on Syria, along with his Turkish and Egyptian counterparts. The Saudi Foreign Minister was not in attendance. Salehi’s recommendations included sending observers to Syria and that the contact group’s next meeting take place in Tehran, with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey.

Khabar Online, close to Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani reports Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s comments in his meeting with Foreign Minister Salehi that “no problem exists between Iran and Egypt”. During their meeting in Cairo Salehi expressed the “warm greetings” of President Ahmadienajd, and thanked Morsi for his attendance of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran. Salehi also congratulated the president on the “victory of the revolution of the Egyptian people”. According to the report, Morsi reciprocated and asked the Iranian Foreign Minister to offer his “warm greetings” to the Supreme Leader and President Ahmadinejad.

Salehi also expressed Iran’s readiness for cooperation with the Egyptian government on the development of Egypt’s industrial infrastructure, adding that the two countries “complement one another”.

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The Muslim world reports on the attacks of American targets

The hardline Kayhan newspaper reports on the death of the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens:

“The people of Libya, Egypt and Yemen in response to the insult of an American filmmaker to the honorable Prophet have attacked the American embassy. The angry people, with the killing of the ambassador and three armed Americans, have punished Washington. … Available reports state that this attack was undertaken by the Islamist group “Ansar al-Shariah” in protest of the screening of an insulting film to the honorable Prophet in American cinemas, and the assailants attacked the American consulate building in Benghazi using light arms and RPGs.”

Attacks in Libya, Egypt and Yemen are said to be a response to the screening of the film entitled, “Innocence of Muslims,” by amateur filmmaker Sam Bacile.

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