Iran and Egypt explore resuming ties via Iraq-brokered talks
Since the Shah left Iran to Egypt following the 1979 Islamic revolution, relations between the two regional heavyweights have been strained.
According to Shafaq News, Iraq is hosting discussions between Iran and Egypt to reestablish full diplomatic relations, with preparations ongoing for a meeting between presidents Ebrahim Raisi and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Fadahussein Maleki, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian Parliament, remarked that “negotiations between Iran and Egypt are ongoing in Iraq, and we will witness the re-establishment of Iranian-Egyptian relations in the near future. We anticipate the opening of embassies between the two countries, and following this step, preparations will be made for a meeting between the Iranian President and the Egyptian President.”
Maleki detailed that “rebuilding relations between Iran and Egypt is of utmost importance because Egypt is one of the oldest and most civilized countries in the region and the world. Therefore, Egypt holds great significance and is highly valued compared to other nations.”
The talks follow Iran and Saudi Arabia's recent restoration of diplomatic relations. After seven years of strained ties, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic relations and reopen missions in respective countries after a series of talks brokered in Beijing, China under the auspices of Chinese President Xi Jinping in March.
Three days later, Iran declared its desire to strengthen ties with Egypt, according to the National.
According to the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanaani, “Egypt is an important country in the region, and what the region needs is synergy between Iran and Egypt, and we believe in taking new steps to improve our relations."
According to Al-Monitor, ties between the two have been strained since Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran's monarch, was ousted in the 1979 Islamic revolution and fled to Egypt, where he was granted shelter by then-President Anwar Sadat.
Diplomatic relations between the two nations were cut in 1980, but were partially restored 11 years later under Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak at the level of a chargé d'affaires rather than an embassy.
Following the election of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in 2012, relations strengthened, with reciprocal presidential visits. Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, was toppled in a Saudi-backed coup in 2013 by then-General Sisi, who eventually became president.
As a result, ties between Iran and Egypt remained dependent on Iran-Saudi relations.