|Not so much friends as rivals?|
While Morsi made a reference to the family of the Prophet, a gesture towards his Shi‘ite hosts, he also referred to the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, the first three of whom are cursed and denounced by the Shi‘a as usurpers. Those references, which were neither traditional nor necessary, seemed to point up the sectarian disagreements. In another interesting point, he referred favorably to Gamal Abdel Nasser's role in the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement in the 1950s. Given Nasser's role in the suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, that too came as something of a surprise.
There has been a lot of speculation and a certain amount of alarm about the direction of Egypt's new foreign policy. Many questions still remain, and it is likely the West will not agree with many aspects of it, but the visit to Tehran seems to have been less a granting of legitimacy than a challenge for leadership.