Egypt and Iran, a love-hate relationship
France 24 / Lynn Tehini
28-Jul-2008 (one comment)

Tensions are running high between Cairo and Teheran, all because of the Iranian film ‘Assassination of a Pharaoh’ that recounts the assassination of former Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat in 1981. In the film, the assassin, Khaled Islambouli, is treated as a martyr whereas the ex-head of state is portrayed as a traitor for having signed the Camp David Agreements in 1978 – a document whereby Egypt officially recognised Israel.

The Egyptian reaction was swift. On July 9, the government summoned an Iranian representative to Cairo demanding information about the film. The Egyptian press – especially the official press – fell on the issue, calling it a scandal and threatening to make a film to destroy the image of the late Imam Khomeini, leader of the Iranian revolution. “I don’t think they’ll go through with it,” declared Egyptian journalist Tarek Mounir.

Astonishingly, Egypt chose to act in response to the film by way of sport. Through its president Samir Zaher, the Egyptian Federation of Football announced that it was cancelling the friendly game between the Egyptian and Iranian teams, due to be held in the United Arab Emirates on August 20. The International Federation of Football (Fifa) has not yet passed judgment. “What we are seeing today is what I would call a syndrome of ‘diplomacy in football.’ Given the popularity of this sport in the Arab world, cancelling a match is a way of showing you’re unhappy with something,” concl... >>>

News Goffer

More muzzles needed and now!

by News Goffer on

When a country has so much ideology attached to its foreign policy, it is no surprise to see all the efforts of some within its own establishment thwarted by the works of some others!  Egypt's only pre-condition for establishing ties with Iran was to change the name of a street in Tehran which is named after Anwar Sadat's assasin, Khaled Islambouli (formerly Vozara Avenue).  In close to two decades, the Iranian government couldn't get their act together to do this, while some tried changing the street's name and others, such as Kayhan, thwarted it.  Now we have a movie which will need to be kept from release!  How much do you want to bet that "bootlegged" copies of the movie will soon find their way to the market and show up on the internet, spiralling into another out of control mess?  What potential will exist for normalized relations then?  I'm afraid this one can only be solved by Mr. Khamenei himself, who will have to put a muzzle on some of his devout followers if he wants to have ties with Egypt.