A prominent member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood this week became the first member of the Islamist group to visit Iran, where he praised Tehran’s leadership and denounced Israel.

The New York Post reported that Kamal El Helbawy – a London-based Islamic scholar and Brotherhood representative widely known as the movement’s face in the West – told his hosts he wished to see Egypt become, like Iran, “a true Islamic state.”

“Egypt and the world of Islam as a whole need leaders like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” he said, and “should join a new world order with Iran and Venezuela, plus Hezbollah and Hamas to chase away the Americans.

“Every night when I go to bed, I pray to wake up the next day to see Israel is wiped off the map,” the Brotherhood leader reportedly said.

Last month, during protests to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Helbawy told Iran’s Al-Alam television network, “The only foreign intervention in this revolution is that of Israel. They destroyed the gas pipeline, so that the revolutionaries would be accused of using explosives. No one would accept a destructive Iranian role in Egypt, or elsewhere. We think highly of a country whose president is important, courageous and has a vision.”

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