Egypt to sue Iran news agency over ‘fabricated’ interview, in which Morsi pledged to revise Israel peace treaty (NATIONAL POST) National Post Wire Services CAIRO, EGYPT 06/27/12)
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CAIRO — Egypt is to sue an Iranian news agency for having allegedly
fabricated an interview with president-elect Mohammed Morsi, the
official MENA news agency reported on Wednesday.
It quoted the Islamist leader’s spokesman Yassir Ali as saying Fars
news agency made up the widely quoted interview in which Morsi said
he would improve ties with Iran and revise Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty
“Legal action will be taken against the Iranian Fars news agency
which fabricated an interview,” Ali said.
Morsi is the first Islamist president in Egypt’s history and its
first elected leader since an uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak
in February 2011.
In the interview, Morsi, said he wants to “reconsider” the peace deal
with Israel and build ties with Iran to “create a strategic balance”
in the Middle East.
The stated goals, if true, are certain to alarm Israel and its ally
the United States as they adapt to the new direction Egypt will chart
with Morsi at the helm.
They could also boost Iran’s influence in the Middle East at a time
of heightened tensions between Tehran and the West.
“We will reconsider the Camp David Accord” that, in 1979, forged a
peace between Egypt and Israel that has held for more than three
decades, Morsi was quoted as telling a Fars reporter in Cairo on
Sunday, just before his election triumph was announced.
He said the issue of Palestinian refugees returning to homes their
families abandoned in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the 1967 Six-Day
War “is very important.”
Morsi added though that “all these issues will be carried out through
cabinet and governmental bodies because I will not take any decision
on my own.”
Morsi also said he was ready to improve ties with Iran. The Islamic
republic broke off diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980, a year
after Cairo signed the peace deal with the Jewish state.
“Part of my agenda is the development of ties between Iran and Egypt
that will create a strategic balance in the region,” Morsi was quoted
Although Morsi resigned from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to take the
top job, Israel is wary of his election, fearing his Islamist record
could jeopardise the chilly peace it has long enjoyed with its huge
Iran’s foreign ministry on Sunday welcomed Morsi’s triumph. Its
message made no mention, however, of Iran and Egypt resuming
Iran’s clerical leadership contends that the Arab Spring that toppled
veteran Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak and other longtime U.S.
allies in the Arab world last year was inspired by its own 1979
Although Iran’s predominant faith is Shi’ite Islam and the Muslim
Brotherhood adheres to the Sunni branch of Islam, Tehran has been
reaching out to the organization in Egypt in recent months.
Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, on
Monday was quoted by IRNA as echoing the Muslim Brotherhood’s
rejection of moves by Egypt’s military to dissolve the Islamist-led
parliament and to give itself a greater say over government policy
and the constitution.
“The actions of the military council in Egypt, which considers itself
to be selected by Mubarak, lack legal validity and political
legitimacy,” Firouzabadi said. (© 2012 National Post, a division of
Postmedia Network Inc. 06/27/12)
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