In a rare statement by him, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Egyptian armed forces said the country is facing great risks in the next phase, confirming the presence of many elements meddling in Egyptian national security issues. Tantawi said, in an interview with the German newspaper "Der Spiegel": We are at a loss, either confront this great danger or to say that we are fighting democracy."
On the former President Mubarak, Tantawi said the junta is facing great pressures from important Arab countries not to prosecute him and any of his children. Tantawi added that the presence of Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh "weakens our position significantly in the eyes of the Egyptian street and the Egyptian revolution."
The German newspaper asked Tantawi about a coup attempt, mentioned by chief of staff Sami Annan and Tantawi replied: "Yes, there were than one coup attempts since the former president stepped down, but we faced them with all our strength and resolve." Tantawi confirmed that the military junta had pressured on Mubarak to relinquish powers because "we felt at the time that the country will be divided and things will deteriorate." Tantawi added: "Mubarak is under house arrest, but this does not prevent the existence of his supporters who want to convey the message that matters after Mubarak had deteriorated significantly. We seek to deal with any counter-revolution in the Egyptian street."
On former PM Ahmed Shafik, Tantawi said: "We saw that he was a clean hand man. We tried to help him to achieve accomplishments, but the Egyptian street voiced its position and the man could not bear the pressure and submitted his resignation." About the relationship between Egypt and Iran, Tantawi said that Egypt Iran is an Islamic country and not an enemy of Egypt. He expressed the hope that the "next phase will see special bilateral relations between us and them for the benefit of the two countries."