Al Ahram reports: Egypt plans to sue an Iranian news agency for having allegedly fabricated an interview with President-elect Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s official MENA news agency reported on Wednesday.
MENA quoted the Islamist leader’s spokesman, Yassir Ali, as saying that Iran’s Fars news agency had “made up” a widely quoted interview in which Morsi said he planned to improve ties with Iran and revise Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
“Legal action will be taken against the Iranian Fars news agency, which fabricated the interview,” Ali said.
The Egyptian presidency on Monday denied that Morsi had given an interview to Iran’s Fars news agency, in which he reportedly pledged to strengthen ties with the Islamic republic.
“Mr. Morsi did not give any interview to Fars; everything that this agency has published is without foundation,” a spokesman for the Egyptian presidency told MENA.
Earlier this week, Fars published what it said was an interview with Morsi in which Egypt’s first democratically-elected civilian president said he wanted to build ties with Iran, severed in 1980.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone at Fars or any of their friends in the Revolutionary Guards thought they could fake an interview and get away with it. My guess is that Fars was itself duped into believing they were conducting a phone interview with Morsi while in fact they were speaking to someone else. Note that it was the state-controlled Islamic Republic News Agency which was swift to report a denial of the authenticity of the interview. So, if Fars was led into a trap, the question is: who set the trap?