'Iran-Egypt split pleases Israel'
An Iranian legislator calls for the normalization of Iran-Egypt relations, saying the split between the two Muslim states plays into the hands of Israel.
"Iran and Egypt are two great Muslim countries and the deterioration of Tehran-Cairo relations over the past decades has inflicted a serious damage to the world of Islam and has pleased the Israeli regime as well as the arrogant powers," said Mahmoud Ahmadi Biqash in a televised interview with al-Alam News Network late Monday, Press TV reported.
Tehran and Cairo broke off diplomatic relations in the wake of Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979 after the then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat granted refuge to the deposed Shah of Iran, Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi.
Egypt's recognition of the Israeli regime as the only Arab state other than Jordan also widened the gap between the two Muslim states for three decades.
The Iranian lawmaker called for an end to the three decades of non-relations between the two countries, expressing the Iranian nation's respect for the people of Egypt.
"The Iranian and Egyptian nations can not be separated because the two Muslim states enjoy an old civilization and can combat their enemies through cooperation and unity," the member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of Iran's Parliament (Majlis) added.
Biqash's remarks came after reports said that the two estranged governments would resume direct flights between Tehran and Cairo.
Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Ahmed Shafiq and Iranian Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Hamid Baghaei oversaw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries' aviation officials on Sunday.
Some analysts believe that the normalization of relations between the two Islamic countries will fly in the face of Israel's interests as the regime deems Egypt-Iran friendship would jeopardize its friendship with Cairo.