(Reuters) - Egypt sees the framework nuclear accord that Iran reached with world powers this week as a first step towards a final deal that will hopefully help bring stability to the Middle East, the state news agency reported on Friday, quoting the foreign ministry.
Egypt, the most populous Arab state, is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, Iran’s main regional rival.
The tentative accord, struck on Thursday after eight days of talks in Switzerland, clears the way for a settlement to allay Western fears that Iran could build an atomic bomb, with economic sanctions on Tehran being lifted in return.
Egypt’s state news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty as saying Cairo hopes a final deal will be reached that could contribute to stability in the Middle East and prevent an arms race.
Egypt and other Arab states recently agreed to form a joint military force designed to confront regional security threats as Iran’s influence grows in the Middle East.
Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robin Pomeroy