Egypt’s newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi is planning to visit Iran at the end of August to attend the Non-Aligned Movement meetings on August 30, 2012, the Jordan Times reports. According to the Egyptian state-run MENA agency, this will mark the first visit of a senior Egyptian leader to Tehran since the Islamic revolution, explaining Morsi will “participate in the summit on his return from China”.
After being quoted in June 2012 by an Iranian news agency as seeking to restore ties with Tehran Morsi threatened to sue, and aides to the new president insist this is not so, as Morsi is working to paint an image of moderation despite his close ties and affiliation with the Islamic Brotherhood. Morsi announced his resignation from the Islamic Brotherhood in June but the symbolic gesture has fallen short of persuading Western leaders of his true intentions and time will serve as the best judge of his true agenda.
Extremists, including Iran, were pleased with Morsi’s victory after the toppling of the government of Hosni Mubarak. Morsi insists he does not plan to turn his back on Egypt’s former allies and he will work to maintain ties with old friends including America and Israel.
The Jordan Times adds “Egypt is the current head of the Non-Aligned Movement, founded during the cold war to advocate the causes of the developing world, and is set to hand over to Iran in the Tehran meeting.”
After Cairo decided to recognize the State of Israel followed by the Iranian revolution led to the end of diplomatic relations between those countries back in 1980.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)