Middle East

Iran says Egypt army intervention 'unacceptable'

Egyptian supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi sit in front of barbed wire fencing that blocks the access to the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo on July 8, 2013. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS

TEHRAN: Iran deems "unacceptable" the Egyptian army's toppling of the country's first freely elected president Mohamed Mursi, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

"The intervention of armed forces in political affairs is unacceptable and disturbing," ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi told the Mehr news agency, when asked about the developments in Egypt.

"It cannot be denied that foreign hands are at work here," Araqchi said, adding: "The polarisation of Egyptian society is dangerous."

He did not specify which foreign hands he believed were behind the coup but said: "The West and the Zionist (Israeli) regime do not want a strong Egypt."

His remarks came after gunfire killed 42 Islamist protesters demonstrating outside an elite Cairo army base against last week's coup.

Iran had tried to improve its long strained relations with Egypt after Mursi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, took power in June last year.

Last August, Mursi became the first Egyptian leader to travel to Tehran since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.





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