Egypt’s newly elected President Mohammad Morsi announced plans to restore diplomatic relations with Tehran in an effort to “create a strategic balance in the region,” according to an interview published by Iran’s Far News Agency on Monday, The Daily Mail reports.
Ties between Egypt and Iran were severed more than 30 years ago, but may be re-established following Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. In 1980, one year after Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the two countries’ relations were cut after Egypt recognized Israel.
“We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region,” Morsi said in the interview.
His announcement is a red flag to Western powers that believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Iran celebrated the Islamist president-elect’s victory over former Mubarak general Ahmed Shafik as a “splendid vision of democracy.”
Morsi said Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel “will be reviewed.” The treaty is a central pillar of the United States’ Middle East policy.
The president-elect was the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate. Last year, Egypt’s foreign minister said Cairo was ready to re-establish ties with the Iranian government.