How can we understand the recent statements made about Egypt by Iran’s assistant foreign minister? The recent statements issued by Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister for African and Arab Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian reflect a notable change in the Iranian position towards Egypt, after months of strained relations, when Iranians were being biased towards the Muslim Brotherhood after the June 30 Revolution.
Tehran seeks to strike a truce with Cairo seven months after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi. This comes as part of a pragmatic approach adopted by Iranian foreign policy decision makers towards international issues. Iran values the importance of Egypt as a regional power in the Middle East. Iranian leaders trust Egypt’s ability to overcome the current critical period.
The gradual change in the Iranian position towards Egypt comes days after Minister of Defense Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi’s and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy’s visit to Russia and their meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian officials in Moscow. We should realize that Iranian relations with Russia turned into a lifeline for the Persian state, in the light of international isolation imposed by the U.S. and other major powers on Iran.
The statements of the Iranian official reflect a truce with Cairo after Sisi’s visit to Russia and Putin’s support for the general’s nomination to the presidency in Egypt. Tehran will not adopt a stance that contradicts the Russian position towards developments in Egypt.
Abdollahian rebuked the Muslim Brotherhood and former President Mohamed Morsi for ignoring the will of the Egyptian people. He signaled to Morsi’s cordial letter to Israeli President Shimon Perez. He expressed Iran’s condemnation of the terrorist actions committed in Egypt and said Egyptian people have the right to choose their coming president.
He expressed his country’s hope that Egypt would return to democracy and praised the recent referendum. Iran realizes where its interests lie and works to protect them according to a pragmatic approach.