AFP: Egypt’s foreign minister accused Iran of having encouraged Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to seize neighbouring Gaza and said it posed a threat to the Arab world, in remarks published on Wednesday. CAIRO, June 20, 2007 (AFP) – Egypt’s foreign minister accused Iran of having encouraged Palestinian Islamist group Hamas to seize neighbouring Gaza and said it posed a threat to the Arab world, in remarks published on Wednesday.
“Iran’s policies encouraged Hamas to do what it has done in Gaza and this represents a threat for Egypt’s national security because Gaza is a stone’s throw from Egypt,” Ahmed Abul Gheit said in Al-Masri Al-Yom newspaper.
“The Iranian influence in Iraq also represents a threat for Egyptian and Arab national security. This obliges Cairo to restrict its relations with Tehran,” which were already broken off in 1980, the foreign minister said.
Tehran severed ties after its 1979 Islamic revolution in protest at Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and for having hosted the toppled Shah of Iran. The two countries have since had only interests sections in each other’s capital.
Egypt condemned last week’s takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas which drove out its secular Fatah rivals in fighting that cost 110 lives and has thrown its weight behind Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, the leader of Fatah.
On Tuesday, Cairo decided to transfer its diplomatic representation with the Palestinian Authority from Gaza City to the West Bank political capital of Ramallah where Abbas’s new emergency government is based.