Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday said he would be interested in normalizing relations with Egypt. File Photo by Iranian Supreme Leader's Office/EPA-EFE
May 29 (UPI) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Monday his country would be interested in resuming diplomatic relations with Egypt, which has long-standing ties with the country's regional rival Israel.
Khamenei made his statement during a meeting with Oman's Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Tehran on Monday. The revelation came in a series of Twitter posts by the Iranian leader's office after the meeting.
Tariq also met with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi during while on a two-day visit.
"We believe the expansion of Iran-Oman relations in all fields is to the benefit of both sides," Khamenei said. "Increased cooperation between the two countries is of significance since the two share the Strait of Hormuz, which is a very important waterway.
"We welcome Egypt's interest in restoring relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we have no problem in this regard," he added.
Tariq visited Egypt a month ago where he met with that country's leaders.
The relationship between Iran and Egypt deteriorated during the 1978 Iranian Islamic Revolution. It briefly improved during the short-lived leadership of late Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi before he was driven out of power in 2013.
According to accounts from Iranian media, Khamenei warned Tariq of Israel's influence in the region, claiming the country is trying to sow discord between Muslim states and that they needed to "pay attention" to the issue.
Egypt and Israel have been at peace since the 1979 Camp David Accords and in recent years have worked closely together on counter-terrorism initiatives in Sinai Peninsula against the Islamic State under Egypt's current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.
The overture comes shortly after Saudi Arabia and Iran re-established ties in a deal brokered by China which came about despite Tehran's support for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine.