The possibility of Cairo and Tehran repairing their tense relations after decades of tension increased when Iran’s supreme leader declared on Monday that he would “welcome” the restoration of full diplomatic ties between Egypt and the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come as a number of websites connected to the Iranian president carried the portraits of two exiled opposition leaders on Monday, with the images of Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi being crossed out on some of the sites.
Khamenei was speaking after a meeting with the Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq, who was visiting Iran, according to Iranian official media.
Sultan Haitham’s visit to Tehran, which will be his first since taking office in 2020, comes at a time when Muscat has long acted as a mediator between Tehran and the West.
Growing indications point to Egypt and Iran possibly mending their relationship, especially in light of the de-escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March, which was facilitated by China.
For economic support, Cairo depends on Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf Arab nations.
According to reports, Khamenei added, “We welcome this issue and have no problem in this regard.” Egypt didn’t respond to Khamenei’s remarks right away.
An inquiry for comment was not answered by Cairo authorities.
After the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, Egypt under Anwar Sadat severed ties with Iran.
The ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a personal friend of Sadat’s, who invited him to Egypt shortly before his death and organized his state funeral in 1980.
The Al-Rifai Mosque in Cairo is where the Shah’s remains are interred. Theocratic Iran, which sees Israel as its main adversary in the region, was likewise incensed by Egypt’s peace agreement with Israel. Relations with Iran improved during the 2011 Arab Spring and the election of Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohammed Morsi as president.
Morsi was overthrown by the military in 2013, and Abdel Fattah el-Sissi became president of Egypt. This abruptly put an end to Egypt’s outreach to Iran.