Iran and Egypt agree to restore ties

TEHERAN: Iran and Egypt have agreed to restore diplomatic relations severed 25 years ago, Iran's vice-president Mohammad Ali Abtahi said yesterday. 

“The two countries have decided to restore ties. It's a definite move and right now they are making the preparations,” Abtahi said. 

“By working together Iran and Egypt can become an influential power in world issues,” he added. 

An Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman said he could not confirm reports that Egypt and Iran had agreed to restore ties. 

“I advise you to stay tuned,” said another Egyptian official. 

Abtahi's comments followed the decision by the Teheran city council to rename a street that had honoured the assassin of Egypt's late president Anwar Sadat, thus removing a major obstacle to the restoration of ties between the two countries. 

The official Irna news agency said the council had changed Khaled Islambouli street to Intifada street, after the Palestinian uprising, at the request of Iran's foreign ministry. 

Iran and Egypt expressed a desire in recent weeks to patch up their differences.  

Cairo had demanded Iran rename the street before it would contemplate restoring relations. 

“This is a step in accordance with (Iran's) detente policy and trust-building with all countries, especially Islamic countries,” Irna quoted foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi as saying. – Reuters  

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