Iranian foreign minister hopes for fresh relations with Egypt

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said he hopes Egypt and Iran would restore normal ties after a three-decade following a cooling of relations since Egypt's signing of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

In an interview with state-run al-Ahram on Tuesday, Salehi described Egypt as a "cornerstone" of the region and a state that enjoys a distinctive status among Arab and Islamic countries. He also welcomed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy's visit to Iran, scheduled for 30 August, when he will participate in a summit for the Non-Alignment Movement.

He voiced his optimism for the future of the Islamic World despite the recent developments and crises in the Middle East and North Africa.

Salehi reiterated Iran's opposition to military intervention in Syria, stressing that international sanctions add to the suffering of the Syrian people. He called for joint action to end the bloodshed in Syria, and warned that foreign militants should not be given room to manipulate its security and stability.

He described Israel as a “cancerous tumor" that is doomed to disappear, commenting on the latter's occasional threat to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities. He argued that Israeli newspapers admit that Israel is not in a position that enables it to wage a war on Iran.

The minister said that though his country is aware of the vitality of the Strait of Hormuz as a passageway for 40 percent of world oil exports, it might close it, if its sovereignty and security require so.

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