Egypt Denies Oil Minister’s Plan to Visit Tehran
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Egyptian oil ministry spokesman on Monday dismissed a recent report that the North African country’s oil minister plans to visit Iran to sign an oil deal with Tehran.
Hamdy Abdel Aziz denied the report, saying that Cairo has contracted sufficient gasoline and diesel shipments to meet domestic demand for November, Egyptian media reported.
It came after Reuters reported earlier in the day that Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had plans to make a rare trip to Iran after Riyadh suspended its oil agreement with Cairo last month.
Saudi Arabia seems to have become more isolated in the wake of a diplomatic row with its close ally, Egypt, following Cairo’s vote in favor of separate Russian and French draft resolutions on Syria at the UN Security Council.
Back in April, Saudi Arabia had agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tons of fuel monthly for five years on easy repayment terms. Earlier this week, however, Saudi political activist, Mujtahid, revealed a halt to Saudi oil product shipments to Egypt.
Egyptian officials also announced earlier that Saudi Arabia's Aramco oil company had informed the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation in early October that it would halt the supply of refined oil products to Cairo.
A source in the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum said that government officials believe the suspension was "politically motivated" and estimate that it could last until the end of the year.
Egyptian media have lashed out at the Riyadh regime following its decision to freeze fuel shipment to the North African country.