TEHRAN, May 29 (NNN-IRNA) – Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, arrived in Tehran yesterday, a week after his trip to Cairo, sparking widespread speculation over Muscat’s intention, to act as a mediator between Iran and Egypt, whose relations were severed since 1980.
Amid a strong Mideast rapprochement recently, analysts believe, the Iran-Egypt reconciliation will bring political and economic benefits, not only to the two countries, but also to the entire region.
In recent years, Iran has announced readiness to mend ties with Egypt by settling differences.
Following the March agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, on the normalisation of their bilateral ties and the former’s efforts to improve relations with regional Arab states, over the past months, the likelihood of restoring relations between Tehran and Cairo has grown.
In mid-May, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said, negotiations between Iran and Egypt were underway in Iraq, and bilateral ties will be restored in the near future, citing Fada Hossein Maleki, a member of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee.
Maleki further said, the Iranian and Egyptian embassies in the two countries will reopen in the next step, followed up by a meeting between the two heads of state.
As was the case with the Tehran-Riyadh agreement, Oman and Iraq are mediating between Iran and Egypt, signifying regional interests at play.
Mir Javad Bayat, a Tehran-based Middle East affairs expert, told an Iranian local media that, the resumption of Iran-Egypt relations will help ensure regional peace and security, contributing to a balance of power in the region.
Concurring with Bayat’s opinion, Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri, a former Iranian diplomat and political affairs expert, stated in a commentary, published by the Iranian Diplomacy website on May 17, that Iran and Egypt are of great contribution to regional security, given their dominance over two of the world’s strategic straits, namely Hormuz and Bab el-Mandeb.
He added, Iran and Egypt are two important states in the Middle East, as Iran plays a significant and indispensable role in West Asia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus regions, while Egypt has a similar role in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and North Africa.
Speaking to the al-Araby al-Jadeed website on Mar 14, Abdullah al-Ashaal, the former assistant to the Egyptian foreign minister, said, the resumption of ties with Iran will also bring economic benefits to Egypt, such as a boost in tourism and trade transactions, which could be a boon to Egypt’s economy.
Ghafour Karimi, a political affairs expert, said, in a commentary, published by the Iranian Diplomacy website on Mar 15, that, despite all their differences, Iran and Egypt share common stances towards certain regional issues, noting that, with relations restored, the two sides could work more effectively towards their common political and security objectives.– NNN-IRNA