Friday, August 19, 2022

Analyst: No prospect of close Iran-Egypt ties despite claims of détente

An Iranian political commentator rules out a positive prospect for the future of ties between Iran and Egypt, which share no similar foreign policy stances, saying Cairo is under pressure from the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, all of whom are adversaries of Tehran.

In an interview with ILNA, Ahmad Barvayeh, an expert in North Africa affairs, reacted to recent reports by Qatari media that claimed Iran and Egypt had held a high-level meeting and agreed to improve their relations.

“If the level of ties sees a rise, we cannot be optimistic that the two [Iran and Egypt] will turn into aligned countries or establish broad relations,” he said.

Egypt, he said, maintains close ties with Israel and is dependent on the US and Saudi Arabia, which pressure the North African state to join an Arab alliance in the region that could provoke tensions with Iran.

The analyst said, “Egypt seeks to balance its choices and create a balance between joining regional coalitions, [on the one side,] and Iran, [on the other].”

The Al Araby Al Jadeed recently cited sources as saying that the “meeting” between Iranian and Egyptian officials “was of a security nature in general, and touched upon the situation in the Gaza Strip and Syria.”

The daily reported the existence of what it described as a powerful movement within the Egyptian security entities and army which strongly oppose Egypt’s participation in any military coalition against Iran.

Barvayeh said he did not believe that any future cooperation between Iran and Egypt would go beyond such regional issues.

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