Sabry Khalaf, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council, said that President Mohamed Morsy’s planned visit to Iran would be an excellent step on the road to the normalization of relations between Egypt and Iran. He said relations have been interrupted for several years because of irresponsible policies of the previous regime, which damaged Egypt’s relations with Arab and Islamic countries.
Khalaf told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the goal of the invitation is not to support Shiism in Egypt. He also stressed that the concept of Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, which elevates the status of Iran's supreme guide, does not exist in the Sunni faith and is completely rejected.
He said that the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, understands the sensitivity of relations between himself and the Supreme Leader of Iran. He ensured that there would be no relationship between the two whatsoever.
“I hope that the visit takes place successfully,” Khalaf said, adding that he does not think that Morsy will meet with Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, “It is not politically astute [for a meeting] to happen in the first visit of an Egyptian president, after the long break that lasted for more than 30 years.”
Egyptian Shia thinker and head of the Tahrir Party, Ahmed Rasim al-Nafis, said that discussing the return of a relationship between Egypt and Iran is premature, since this step is opposed by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
He added that the former regime was hostile to Iran, and only attended meetings with Iran through international organizations.
He said that the if president visits Iran for the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit, he must visit Khamenei, since the concept of the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is a major factor in Iranian politics.
Nafis, however, predicted that Morsy would not accept the invitation, since domestic politics were not settled. He advised him to accept it for its military and economic importance.
An Iranian official who requested anonymity said that the resumption of relations between Egypt and Iran needs sincere intentions from the two countries. “As for us, we do not mind the return of good, natural and high relations with Egypt. Egyptians have to decide and we welcome them always.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm