Mr. Saleh said that Iran establishing diplomatic ties with Egypt is due to the ‘viewpoint’ of the Egyptian government and people.
The foreign minister added as saying that Iran “understands” the circumstances that Egypt is undergoing post the January 25 Revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.
Mr. Saleh also described on Monday the latest expulsion of an Iranian diplomat on suspicion of spying from Egypt as "a misunderstanding that has been resolved," Agence-France Presse quoted the state television's website.
"This issue was a misunderstanding that has been resolved," Mr. Salehi was quoted as saying on Cairo's expulsion of Qasim al-Hosseini.
"Forty to 50 Egyptian intellectuals and thinkers who we have invited to Iran are arriving today, and I think that Mr. Hosseini is accompanying them," Mr. Salehi said.
An initial probe found Mr. Hosseini had gathered "information about Egypt on the latest developments the country has experienced and the conditions through which it is passing, then sent them to Iran's intelligence services," MENA said.
Iran's interests section in Cairo denied Mr. Hosseini had been arrested.
Relations between the countries were severed in 1980 in the wake of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and Egypt recognizing Israel. Although they do not have full diplomatic relations, each has a mission in the other's capital.
The two countries have agreed to resume flights after three decades hiatus in October 2010.
But connecting the two capitals of the two countries did not stop the ousted Egyptian president from raising the alarm over Iran’s “cancerous” growing influence in the region.
Meanwhile, observers said that Egypt-Iran relations are on the repair after the change seen in the North African country by the January 25 Revolution.
Late April, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi said he will meet his Iranian counterpart next month and to discuss opening a new chapter in the relations of the two nations.
Mr. al-Arabi egged on the normalization of the two countries but assured that it won’t interfere with the security of the oil-rich Arab monarchies in the Gulf.
The Arab Gulf did not welcome steps by Egypt and Iran normalizing their relations, and observers believe that Egypt is vigilant in not hampering with its strategic relations with the Gulf countries in favor for Iran.
On April, Egypt’s Prime Minister Essam Sharaf during his Saudi Arabia visit said the Arab Gulf countries security is a red line that Egypt will not trespass.
The Iranian foreign minister on May visited several Arab Gulf countries to mitigate tensions arising from the Gulf States accusing Iran of meddling into their affairs.
In the same time, Iran and the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq have protested against Saudi Arabia and the UAE forces garrisoning in the Shiite-majority Bahrain amid protests unleashing in the country.
Speculators described Egypt allowing the two Iranian warships passing through the Suez Canal, a step unprecedented since the Islamic revolution, and the opening of Rafah crossing to Gazans as signs that Egypt is weaving a new independent foreign policy that is different from the one witnessed during Mubarak’s regime. Egypt has been a traditional US ally unlike Iran.
Egypt has more than 80 million in population, with around $188.4 billion in GDP and some $5400 per capita income (2008).
Iran has more than 70 million in population, with around $331 billion in GDP and $12800 per capital income (2008).
Both countries are considered heavy-weight regional countries in MENA.
(Dina Al-Shibeeb, an editor at Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org)