Egypt Live Blog
An aide of Egypt’s president-elect Mohamed Morsi has denied an Iranian news agency claims that Morsi voiced interest in restoring long-severed ties with Tehran
An Iranian news agency said Egypt's Islamist President-elect Mohamed Morsi had voiced interest in restoring long-severed ties with Tehran to create a strategic "balance" in the region, but a Morsi aide denied the interview ever took place.
Iran's Fars agency said it spoke to Morsi a few hours before Sunday's election results were announced and quoted him saying the two countries should get closer - comments that go counter to Western efforts to isolate Tehran over its nuclear programme.
"We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political co-ordination and economic co-operation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region," the semi-official news agency quoted Morsi as saying in a transcript of the interview.
Yasser Ali, a Morsi aide, told Reuters: "There was never a meeting with the Iranian news agency Fars and what was taken as statements has no basis in truth."
On its web page, Fars published a transcript and an audio of the conversation. Reuters was unable to verify the recording but the man purported to be Morsi did not sound exactly like him.