Iran’s intelligence leader Suleimani never entered Egypt, Morsi aide asserts
The Egyptian presidency has strongly denied a UK newspaper claim that the
president’s assistant for foreign relations met a senior Iranian
intelligence official in Cairo
Amer Sultan in London, Saturday 12 Jan 2013
Egypt's presidency has denied that Essam El-Haddad, President Mohamed
Morsi's assistant for foreign affairs, recently met Major General Qassem
Suleimani, the commander of the Iranian Quds Brigade, a part of the Iranian
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in Cairo.
The Times newspaper said on 8 January 2013 that the two met while Suleimani
was in Cairo for two days. The office of El-Haddad responded robustly,
pointing to "the inaccuracy of the whole story" and categorically denying
The Times report described the aim of the claimed visit as "sending a
message to America."
El-Haddad expressed anger at the report. He said in an official statement
Friday, issued through the Egyptian Embassy in London, that Mr Suleimani
never entered Egypt.
“We are concerned that a respectable news outlet such as The Times would
fail to uphold basic journalistic standards. The Times chose not to solicit
a reaction from the [Egyptian] presidency, Dr El-Haddad’s office or the
Foreign Ministry,” the statement went on to say.
The Times claimed that the Iranian security official visited Egypt just
It said the information was confirmed by two members of the Muslim
Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and that the Iranian official was invited by
the Egyptian Government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The report quoted one unnamed official as saying, “The (Egyptian) government
requested a high-level meeting with Iranian officials. Iran sent Suleimani.”
The newspaper said the claimed visit by Suleimani “deals another blow to
Cairo’s fragile relationship with the West."
El-Haddad said in his statement: “The Times chose also to ignore this
response, and when alerted to the inaccuracy of the story, The Times
declined to retract it or to acknowledge the refutation of the story by
their alleged sources and the office of Dr El-Haddad."
The statement added that El-Haddad's office welcomes press enquiries and
exhorts all journalists to seek balance and objectivity in their reporting.