Thursday, January 10, 2013
Iran invites Morsi to Tehran, accuses West of triggering Sunni-Shiite feuds.(TI).Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi, on a visit to Egypt Thursday, claimed that the West is stirring up sectarian feuds between Sunni and Shiite Muslims, reported dpa.
Attempts to stoke "this conflict all arise from the Western media," he said in Cairo, following talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
"Who wants to arouse this enmity? Those who do not wish us well," said the minister from the predominantly Shiite country. Egypt's Muslim population is predominantly Sunni.
Salehi is on a visit to Cairo, the first by an Iranian foreign minister to Egypt in more than three decades.
"Iran is paying the price for supporting the Palestinian cause. Are the Palestinians Shiites or Sunnis? They are all Sunnis," said Salehi, trying to highlight how his country's Shiite government has sought to reach across the religious divide.
He dismissed suggestions that Shiite Iran was using local Shiites in neighbouring Gulf states to cause instability.
The Sunni-dominated Gulf heavyweight Saudi Arabia and the small Sunni-ruled kingdom of Bahrain have repeatedly accused Iran of stirring unrest in the region, ever since a wave of pro-democracy protests erupted across the Middle East in late 2010.
Tehran has denied interfering and accused the Sunni rulers of discriminating against Shiites in their own countries.
Sunnis and Shiites share the key fundamentals of Islamic beliefs. Their differences are basically historical and political, dating to the 7th century, when the prophet Mohammed died and Muslims then differed over who should be his successor as a caliph. The two sects specifically differ on interpretation of the prophet's hadith, or sayings, with Shiites rejecting prophetic traditions which were not narrated by members of Mohammed's House or their descendants.
Salehi said he had handed Morsi an invitation from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to make an official visit to Tehran.
It is not clear yet if Morsi, Egypt's first elected Islamist president, would make the visit.
Iran and Egypt have had no diplomatic ties since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution because of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. Iran does not recognize Israel.
But Cairo and Tehran cooperate on diplomatic affairs at a non-ambassadorial level.
Since Egypt's 2011 revolution, which deposed Hosny Mubarak, Iran has actively sought to improve relations.
Egypt's response has been relatively cautious, apparently wary of estranging oil-rich Gulf countries.
Egypt and Iran are also at odds over Syria's nearly two-year uprising.
Tehran, a close ally of Damascus, has backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on the opposition. However, Morsi has repeatedly called for al-Assad to step down.Hmmm... Morsi: "When the followers of unrighteousness are united in their unrighteous path, why should not we go united in our right position when dealing with global challenges,".Read the full story here.