Iran says Egypt must guard against 'enemy opportunism'

DUBAI Thu Jul 4, 2013 8:24am EDT

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DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran on Thursday gave a guarded response to the army's removal of Egypt's Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, calling for the people's "legitimate demands" to be fulfilled and warning of "foreign and enemy opportunism".

Iran welcomed the popular overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 as part of an "Islamic awakening" and has sought to repair its strained ties with Egypt since Mursi's election victory last year.

Mursi visited Tehran on one of his first official trips abroad, but the two countries have found themselves supporting opposite sides of a civil war in Syria that has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones.

Largely Sunni Muslim Egypt under Mursi voiced its support for mostly Sunni rebel groups seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, Shi'ite Iran's closest Arab ally.

"Certainly the resistant nation of Egypt will protect its independence and greatness from foreign and enemy opportunism during the difficult conditions that follow," Fars new agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi as saying.

"With respect for the political origins of its (Egypt's) discerning, civilized and historic people, the Islamic Republic emphasizes the need to fulfill their legitimate demands and is hopeful that ... developments will provide an atmosphere to meet their needs," Araqchi said.

The statement was a good deal more equivocal than before Mursi was deposed. On Tuesday, an Iranian official said the Egyptian president had been elected by the will of the nation and called on the armed forces to "take heed of the vote of the people".

(Reporting by Marcus George; Editing by Jon Hemming and Kevin Liffey)

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Comments (1)
ChangeIranNow wrote:
The removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi should be a warning to the mullahs running Iran. Massive street protests a year after toppling Hosni Mubarak are now toppling Morsi and at their heart are the wishes of a people who simply want to live normal lives in a secular, democratic and free market society. While there are a lot of unknowns over the next few days, there should be no doubt that when given a choice, free peoples will also opt for their rights. Thankfully in Egypt the people had the backing of the military in overthrowing a government that was growing increasingly religiously radicalized and did not deliver on promises to improve the economy for the people. Iran’s population is faced with the same set of circumstances with a punishing economy almost wholly being inflicted on them by a leadership indifferent to their sufferings and instead hellbent on building a nuclear program in defiance to the international community no matter what the cost. Hopefully the people of Iran will be able to seize opportunity to stage the same sort of regime change in Iran and that the U.S. and West will be ready to come to their aid.

Jul 08, 2013 1:54am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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