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Egypts ex-minister replaced for opposing rapprochement with Iran report

Published: Updated:
Former Egyptian interior minister Ahmed Gamal al-Din was replaced in last week’s Cabinet reshuffle after he objected to a meeting between an advisor to President Mohammed Mursi and a senior commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard, according to Egyptian media reports.

Gamal al-Din reportedly complained about the meeting between Mursi’s advisor Issam Haddad and Iran’s Qassem Suleimani. The former interior minister was also disappointed about the Brotherhood’s handling of the country’s security issues.

The low-profile meeting between the Iranian and Egyptian official focused on intelligence issues, including the development of Egypt’s intelligence agency, the widely circulated al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported, quoting sources.

Iran’s Suleimani reportedly spoke about his experience in Iran’s security affairs, and the Muslim Brotherhood officials who met with him expressed their desire to learn from the Iranian security experience.

The Times quoted a member of Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance office or Maktab al-Irshad as saying, “The government requested a high-level meeting with Iranian officials. Iran sent Suleimani.”

“The meeting was intended to send a message to America, which is putting pressure on the Egyptian government, that we should be allowed to have other alliances with anyone we please,” the official added.

The Muslim Brotherhood has denied such allegations; “Some newspaper and websites have quoted a British newspaper saying that the Muslim Brotherhood asked for secret Iranian support to strengthen their control over the country, and that some leaders met the head of the Iranian Quds Force earlier this year, but this news is fiction and totally untrue,” said the media spokesman for the Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ghozlan.