(photo credit: AP [file])
TEHRAN, Iran (AP)_ Iran's foreign minister on Monday said Egypt has welcomed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's offer to re-establish full diplomatic relations.
Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said he received a message recently from his counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, who he said welcomed Ahmadinejad's offer.
There was no immediate comment from the Egyptian government.
"From our point of view, having formal, healthy and logical relations would prepare for the opportunity to review of some incorrect policies," Mottaki told reporters.
"Iran and Egypt are two important countries of the region. There are capacities in the region," Mottaki added.
Ahmadinejad made the offer to re-establish ties with Egypt, a strong US ally, in a speech earlier in May, saying his country was ready to open an embassy in Cairo as soon as Egypt agreed to do the same in Tehran.
Teheran cut diplomatic ties after Cairo signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979 and provided asylum for the deposed Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Relations further deteriorated when Egypt backed Iraq during the 1980-1988 Gulf War. Since then, the two countries have had limited diplomatic contacts.
Aboul Gheit has said that resuming ties could occur only if Iran took down a large mural of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's assassin, Khaled el-Islambouli, and changed the name of a street honoring him.
El-Islambouli was one of the army officers who killed Sadat during a military parade in 1981. Egypt executed him by firing squad soon thereafter.
Iran has not said whether it will take the mural down or change the street name.