Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said it is closely following Iran’s nuclear deal updates and is currently reading thoroughly its articles to review its content precisely, in an official statement on Tuesday.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Badr Abdelatty was quoted as saying: “We hope this deal will not be a new race for arming in the Middle East region, and rather evacuate the region from weapons, including nuclear ones, in order to achieve stability and the articles of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.”
After years of talks, Iran, the US, France, Germany, the UK, Russia and China (the P5+1 countries) signed a historic nuclear deal on Tuesday in Vienna, Austria.
The deal, named the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), states that Tehran should curb its nuclear enrichment activity in return for lifting the economic sanctions imposed on it.
Iran is allowed could carry out “specific research and development (R&D) activities for the first eight years” of the deal. Further enrichment activities are possible afterwards, “for exclusively peaceful purposes”, according to a copy of the JCPOA posted on the Russian government’s Facebook page. Tehran is also not permitted to stockpile large amounts of enriched uranium.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be the watchdog that monitors Iran’s nuclear activities.
The deal, which comes after years of negotiations, raised many doubts amongst Middle Eastern countries, and is expected to change the landscape of foreign relations in the region, as well as a change in international allies worldwide.
Mohammed Mohsen Abo El-Nour, a political analyst and researcher in international relations and Iranian affairs, told Daily News Egypt: “The deal put Egypt under pressure because it cannot support Iran due to its ties and relations with the Gulf, and at the same time it cannot become hostile towards it because of the Western relations on many levels other than just security.”
He added: “The deal will negatively affect oil-producing Middle East countries, and foreign countries which depend on them, as soon as the economic ban is lifted from Iran by end of 2016.”
On the security level, the deal is also expected to empower Iran as having superior role in the Middle Eastern region, especially in conflict zones such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
Fareed Khan, an Algerian researcher on Middle Eastern affairs, told Daily News Egypt: “The Arab countries are dubious of the deal because of the US’s and Iran’s intentions and involvement in many of the ongoing Arab conflicts, represented by the Iranian republican Guard.”
The conflict in Yemen, which started in September 2014 between Houthi troops and the Yemeni government in attempt to take over power in Yemen, was allegedly supported by Iran. The attempts were countered by Saudi-led airstrikes, which started in February and led to intensifying the conflict, leading the country to a sectarian conflict with hundreds of casualties and many citizens stranded in Egypt and other neighbouring countries.