Egypt-Iran relation but Morsi needs to consider Egypt’s relation with Saudi Arabia - etc.
Egypt hardly seems to be rushing into Iran’s arms, however. Ali underlined that Morsi was visiting solely for the nonaligned summit and would not be holding bilateral talks with the Iranians. That may be in part an attempt to reassure Saudi Arabia, Iran’s top Gulf rival. Saudi Arabia has long been an opponent of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and has been suspicious of his rise to power.
But Morsi also is seeking to spearhead a new peace initiative for Syria’s escalating civil war. Earlier this month, he included Iran in a proposed four-nation contact group with Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. His upcoming talks in Tehran on Syria, however, have already been dismissed by Syrian rebels as a dead end because of Iran’s inclusion.
Abdelbaset Sieda, head of the rebel Syrian National Council, said Iran was “part of the problem and not part of the solution … and cannot possibly be impartial in any initiative.” Rebels also hold 48 Iranian men taken captive earlier this month near Damascus.
Hamid Reza Shoukouhi, editor of Iran’s independent Mardomsalari newspaper, believes that while Egypt and Iran could make some headway toward better ties, issues such as Syria show serious divides. “Iran’s main policies will not change in short term,” he said.