Tehran, Cairo views on regional issues ‘very close’: Iran FM
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif - REUTERS/Ruben Sprich
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CAIRO: Tehran’s and Cairo’s views are “very close” over many regional issues, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Alrai newspaper Wednesday.

“If you look at the Iranian foreign policy, you will see that we have not sought to eliminate the role of any country in the region. But some states unfortunately tried to eliminate Iran’s role, and we told them they cannot,” the Kuwaiti newspaper quoted Zarif as saying.

“On our part, we do not want to eliminate the role of anyone; there must be a key role for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other states to agree on dialogue and the settlement of some issues. Such steps would demonstrate that the policy of eliminating others is futile and goes unrewarded,” the Iranian minister said.

Zarif named Saudi Arabia as one of those states, adding that he hopes Saudis would comprehend that the Kingdom’s security is important to Iran.

He also said that Iran is keen on establishing close and strong relations with Arab states.

While Saudi Arabia criticized the Russian intervention in Syria, Egypt said it “confines terrorism.” Iran has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad financially, militarily and politically amid the Arab country’s internal war.

Egypt and Iran, however, have not had ambassadors since 1980. Following the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, Iran severed ties with Egypt.

Iran has expressed eagerness to restore relations over the past 35 years, but Egypt has not responded to the Iranian wish even after the January 25 Revolution in 2011 and the dominance of the Muslim Brotherhood on Egyptian politics.

Before Iran’s revolution, its relations with Egypt were largely positive.

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