Egypt eyes closer ties with Iran, denies helping Israel act against regime

In clandestine meeting, Egyptian officials denied to Iranians that Cairo is aiding plans by Israel and moderate Arab states to act against Tehran.

By World Israel News Staff

Egypt is working to establish relations with Tehran and reassuring the Iranian government that Cairo is not part of an Israel-led alliance against Iran, sources told Yedioth Aharonoth.

According to Thursday’s report, senior Egyptian and Iranian secretly met in Oman on June 27,  coinciding with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s trip to Oman, as well as indirect nuclear talks between U.S. and Iranian officials in Qatar.

According to one source cited Yedioth, during the clandestine meeting, Egyptian officials told their Iranian counterparts that their government’s participation in the Negev Summit and inclusion in the Negev Forum do not signal Egypt’s involvement in plans against Tehran.

“Egypt assured Iran during the meeting that the Negev Summit is not directed against Iran and will not include any military moves against it. The meeting discussed the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Syrian issue, and other matters in the Middle East, and opened the door to relations between the two countries.”

Israel hosted the Negev Summit in March, a two-day inaugural meeting of representatives from Israel, the U.S., and four moderate Sunni Arab states dubbed the ‘Negev Forum’.

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The summit, which included discussions on regional cooperation and development, highlighted Iran’s nuclear program, and talks between Iran and Western powers in Vienna.

The Iran-based Mehr News Agency confirmed the meeting between Iranian and Egyptian officials, but did not reveal details about it.

Following the meeting, the newly-appointed Iranian envoy to Egypt, Mohammad Hossein Soltanifard, alluded to the meeting in a pair of tweets.

“There is no Arab alliance against Iran, but there is an Arab and Islamic alliance for the liberation of Al-Quds. Undoubtedly, no Arab alliance will be formed against Iran in the near or far future, but an Arab and Islamic alliance will happen for the liberation of Al-Quds,” Soltanifard tweeted.

“Iran and Egypt are at an important and decisive moment in the region. They have extended their hands to each other. God willing, we will hear good news soon.”

This week, Soltanifard again praised Egypt, tweeting: “Egypt’s opposition to the illusionary US plan to create an alliance against the Islamic Republic of Iran in the light of the silence of other countries participating in the Jeddah Summit is commendable and understandable.”

“God willing, this plan, like the plan to create the Greater Middle East as well as The Deal of Century will get nowhere.”