News24

Mohammed Morsi denies Iran interview

2012-06-26 10:13

Cairo - New Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi denied Monday that he sat for an interview with an Iranian news agency that reported he was seeking expanded diplomatic ties with Iran.

A spokesperson for Morsi told Egypt's official MENA news agency that "Mr Morsi did not give any interview to Fars and everything that this agency has published is without foundation".

Iran's Fars news agency, which is linked to Iran's powerful revolutionary guards, published an interview that quoted Morsi as saying that the expansion of bilateral ties with Iran would create "an effective strategic balance" in the region and was high on his agenda.

Iran on Sunday congratulated Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, on his victory. Tehran hopes that relations between the two countries will improve with the political changes in Egypt.

Iran and Egypt have had no diplomatic ties since Iran's 1979 revolution because of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, but the two governments cooperate on diplomatic affairs at a non-ambassador level.

In Washington, US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the United States looked forward to talking with Morsi "about Iran -about Egypt's relationships in the neighbourhood".

The discussions would also cover Egypt's "upholding of all of its international obligations, including obligations vis-a-vis Iran".