Asharq Al-Awsat, Cairo – The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that Iran’s actions in the region are provoking dispute and confrontation, especially with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossam Zaki highlighted that from what Egypt has seen so far, Iran has acted “confrontational” distancing the region from stability and the potential opportunities for peace.
Asked why Egypt has not sought to engage in dialogue with Iran, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman said, “It is not a question of dialogue. We are monitoring this course. Dialogue will not produce the desired results. Dialogue will lead to nothing; it might result in consolidating the idea of Iran being a superpower in the region and one that commands people. Nobody accepts this. Therefore, any talk about engaging in dialogue with Iran is submission to the idea that Iran has an influential role [in the region] and that I have to limit this role and open dialogue with it. If I did that, Iran would be able to subdue my foreign policy and goals in the region so that it could have the upper hand in the region. I will never let it do this.”
With regards to the Hezbollah in Egypt case, Zaki said that Egypt is not somewhere that cells can come and act freely nor will it accept violations to its sovereignty or interference from an external party. He emphasized that Egypt has laws and international commitments and that it is not a fragile country or a place where someone can act in any way he wants when he wants.
As for the investigations regarding the Hezbollah-member suspects, informed sources said Thursday that the main suspect Sami Chehab (Mohamed Yousef Ahmed Mansour) received a call on his mobile phone from Hezbollah leading figure Mohammed Qablan half an hour after his arrest. The source only added that “From the nature of the phone call, Hezbollah realized that Chehab had been arrested.”
Sources stated that Qablan himself is not involved in the case and indicated that several suspects with code names are being investigated and are yet to be identified. “It is unknown whether they are Lebanese, Palestinian or of other unknown nationalities. They are being investigated by the Egyptian security bodies.”
On his part, Montaser al Zayyat, head of the defence panel for Sami Chehab and a number of other members of his group, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “Chehab has begun to regain his strength. We brought him new clothes yesterday and he is regaining his strength.”
Concerning Hassan Nasrallah’s confession that Chehab is a Hezbollah member and that he was taking part in logistic work with ten other Hezbollah members, al Zayyat said, “Nasrallah is not a military commander; he is a political leader. Therefore, whatever he says about this case will not be accurate.”