The Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) was quoted on Monday by Reuters as stating, in the name of Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi, that Iran is negotiating to sell oil to Egypt.
The Iranians have been saying time and again, especially since the new round of Western sanctions set in on July 1, that they are negotiating to sell oil to several new buyers, but would not name.
According to Reuters, a spokesman for Egypt’s oil ministry refused to comment on Qasemi’s remarks.
Since the fall of President Mubarak, relations between Egypt and Iran have been improving, and last month President Muhamed Morsi visited Tehran – first Egyptian leader to do so since 1979.
Egyptian Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal told Al-Ahram earlier in September that he had no objection to importing Iranian crude oil, to be processed in Egyptian refineries.
But such an Egyptian move will likely not receive the blessing of the Obama White House, nor of the U.S. Congress.
Egypt has been receiving just under $2 billion in U.S. foreign aid, but the Obama Administration has repeatedly promised a significant increase in some aspects of the aid package over several years, as well as completion of an agreement between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In short, like Israel, Egypt stands to lose a great deal by annoying the Americans.