Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit accused Iran of using the Lebanese Shiite movement Hizbullah to gain a foothold in Egypt, in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday. "Iran, and Iran's followers, want Egypt to become a maid of honour for the crowned Iranian queen when she enters the Middle East," Abul Gheit told the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat.
Referring to Iran, Abul Gheit said that "I wish I could see their eyes and their faces when their lower lips drop in astonishment at what the... public prosecutor will include in his report." "(Iran) used (Hizbullah) to gain a presence in Egypt and to say to Egyptians: we are here," he added.
Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that one of those arrested in Egypt recently, a Lebanese named Sami Shihab, was a Hizbullah agent charged with smuggling weapons to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. According to AFP,
the Egyptian press has given conflicting accounts of Shihab's confessions, including that he admitted to planning three simultaneous attacks on Israeli tourists in Sinai.
The state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper quoted Shihab as saying that Hizbullah ordered bombings in retaliation for the assassination of senior military commander Imad Mughnieh in a Damascus bombing in February 2008. But a lawyer for some of the suspects said Shihab confessed only to being ordered to scout the movement of Israeli tourists and shipping through the Suez Canal after Mughnieh's death.