Middle East

Charter to help achieve Egyptians' goals: Iran

Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast speaks with journalists at Tehran's Mehrabbad Airport on December 03, 2011 to meet Iranian diplomats expelled from Britain. (AFP PHOTO /ATTA KENARE)

TEHRAN: Iran, whose diplomatic ties with Cairo were cut three decades ago, on Sunday welcomed the new Islamist-backed constitution of Egypt, saying it would advance the goals of all Egyptians.

"This popular participation is a tremendous support for the Egyptian government in taking future strides to achieve the Egyptian people's progressive, Islamic and revolutionary goals," said foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, quoted by ISNA news agency.

Egyptian state media and President Mohamed Morsi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood said the constitution was passed with the support of nearly two-thirds of voters in a referendum, based on unofficial tallies.

Egypt's secular-leaning opposition, which maintains that the charter limits the freedoms of religious minorities and women, said "fraud and violations" had skewed the results of the two-stage referendum.

Tehran and Cairo severed diplomatic ties in the wake of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Egypt's Morsi attended the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran in late August, the first time an Egyptian head of state had set foot in Iran since the cut in ties.

Iran and Egypt have since maintained interests sections in their respective capitals.

Shiite-majority Iran has sought to normalise relations with Sunni Arab Egypt since the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011. But Morsi has so far reacted with caution to Tehran's overtures.





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