US Defense Secretary Panetta visit Morsi in C
US Defense Secretary Panetta visit Morsi in CReuters

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi is to visit Tehran this month after a 32-year break in ties between the two Muslim countries and only three weeks after hosting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Morsi plans to attend the so-called Non-Aligned Movement meetings Aug. 30, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency. Egypt currently heads the Movement, and Iran will take over the rotating presidency at this month’s conference.

Cairo and Tehran broke off relations after the overthrow of the Shah in the Islamic Revolution and Egypt’s recognition of Israel in 1979.

Iran was accused by Egyptian officials in the Mubarak regime of trying to sow unrest in the country. Iran has shown interest in renewing ties, a move that might give it more political and diplomatic clout in its effort to achieve nuclear capability.

Morsi allegedly told an Iranian news agency after he was elected president that he wanted to restore relations, but he denied having granted the interview.

A visit by Morsi would solidify the “terror axis” of Iran – Hizbullah, Syria and Hizbullah-dominated Lebanon in the north and Hamas to the south of Israel. Turkey briefly joined the axis two years ago but has turned against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Morsi’s intended visit to Iran will come at the same time he is trying to convince Israel and the West that he has good intentions towards Israel.