Egypt diplomat says killer street, not Israel, blocking
ties with Iran
TEHRAN, Aug 25 (AFP) - Egypt's top diplomat in Iran said Tehran's decision
to name a street after the assassin of president Anwar Sadat was one of
the chief obstacles to restoring full diplomatic ties, papers said Wednesday.
Mohammad Fathi Al-Tatawi, the head of Egypt's interests section here,
also rejected suggestions that Egypt's Camp David peace accord with Israel
was an impediment to the restoration of full Tehran-Cairo relations.
"Iran enjoys excellent relations with Morocco, the country which
played the key role in the signing of the Camp David peace treaty,"
he said, quoted in the English-language Iran Daily.
"Tehran also has full ties with Amman, which has good ties with
Israel," Al-Tatawi said, adding that Cairo's own relations with
the Jewish state were more akin to "a cold peace without any real
"Instead of saying that the more Egypt distances itself from Israel,
the closer both countries will get, let us say that enhanced cooperation
between the two will benefit all Moslem nations of the world," he
Al-Tatawi again raised the sensitive issue of Khaled al-Islambuli Street,
a Tehran thoroughfare renamed for the leader of the group which in 1981
killed Egyptian president Anwar Sadat after he signed the Camp David accords.
Iran's decision to rename the street several years ago remains one of
the chief obstacles to improving bilateral ties, Al-Tatatwi said, quoted
by the paper.
The daily was citing an interview in Tuesday's conservative Persian-language
daily Entekhab, which also reported that Al-Tatawi said naming the street
after Sadat's killer "leaves an ambiguity as to whether Iran is meddling
in Egypt's internal affairs."
He did not elaborate.
The diplomat also dismissed suggestions that Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak, Sadat's successor, was against forging full relations with Tehran,
saying Mubarak has frequently praised the leadership of Iranian President
"However, similar remarks have never been heard from Iranian officials,"
he said. Al-Tatawi earlier this month said the establishment of full rela
"Cooperation between our two countries is a strategic necessity
that must go beyond mere words and be translated into concrete action to
establish peace and stability in the region," he said.
He noted Iran's efforts to defuse tension between Syria and Turkey and
its cooperation with Saudi Arabia to boost oil prices earlier this year
as "examples of unity and solidarity among Islamic nations."
He also shrugged off questions about the arrest of 13 Iranian Jews on
charges of spying for Israel, saying he agreed with Mubarak that the matter
was an internal one that concerns Tehran alone.
"The best way to forge strong relations between our fraternal countries
is to respect the principle of non-interference in each other's internal
affairs," he said.
Cairo and Tehran broke off full diplomatic relations in 1980 following
the Islamic revolution in Iran and are currently only represented by interests
sections in each other's capitals.
But the two nations have signed several bilateral cooperation accords,
mainly in the health and pharmaceutical sectors.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi sent his Egyptian counterpart
Amr Mussa a letter last month calling for increased ties between the two
As well as congratulating Mussa on the anniversary of the 1952 overthrow
of the Egyptian monarchy, Kharazi expressed Iran's desire to "start
a close cooperation with Egypt in all areas."