Iran doubles down on reconciliation with Egypt

The Cradle, May 8, 2023 —

Tehran has continued to welcome a strengthening of relations with Cairo, despite historic animosity.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on 8 May Tehran’s willingness to strengthen its diplomatic ties with Egypt.

“The exchange of messages and communication between Cairo and Tehran takes place through the Interests Section,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, referring to the Office of the Iranian Interests Section in Cairo, which offers consular services.

An Egyptian Interests Section in Tehran also exists.

“Iran has previously announced that it has no restrictions on expanding relations with Arab and Islamic countries, and this path is one of the priorities of Iran’s foreign policy, and Cairo’s will to increase the level of cooperation between Egypt and Iran can facilitate this path,” Kanaani added.

The ministry spokesman also called on Cairo to make efforts for an enhancement of ties between the two countries.

In 1979, following the success of the Iranian revolution, which brought the Islamic Republic to power, Tehran severed diplomatic relations with Egypt over the signing of the Camp David Accords the year earlier, which saw Cairo and Tel Aviv sign peace and end decades of hostility between them.

Relations were further damaged in 1980, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat hosted Iran’s former Shah, the western-backed Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. Following this was Egyptian support for Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war.

While relations have improved since then, diplomatic ties were never fully upgraded, and the two countries cooperate mainly through their respective Interests Section offices.

Last month, Iraqi media revealed that there was an initiative being led by Baghdad and Muscat to mediate a restoration of Iranian-Egyptian ties.

At the time, a diplomatic source in Cairo revealed that while Egypt “welcomes this mediation,” it was waiting on the outcome of “developments in the region.”

Tehran has continued to welcome an enhancement of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said in February this year that his country’s relationship with Egypt, as well as with Jordan, will “witness development in the coming period.”

The Foreign Ministry’s announcement comes during a diplomatic renaissance in the region, which has seen Iran restore relations with Saudi Arabia and end years of animosity.

As part of this regional shift, Saudi Arabia has restored ties with both Iran and the Syrian government after years of animosity.

This change in the region has also seen a decline in US influence, as dozens of countries have been moving toward the path of de-dollarization and enhanced regional cooperation.

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