Iran protests Egypt MPs' presence at opposition rally

People hold a poster featuring Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), during a protest in Berlin on February 6, 2014 (AFP Photo/Patrik Stollarz) (AFP/File)

Tehran (AFP) - Iran has summoned Egypt's top envoy in Tehran to "strongly protest" against the attendance of Egyptian lawmakers at an annual rally of an exiled opposition group, state media said.

An Iranian foreign ministry official called the presence of a group of Egyptian MPs at the National Council of Resistance in Iran (NCRI) gathering in France on Saturday "a clear interference in our domestic affairs".

Tehran accused the parliamentarians of supporting the "terrorist group", which includes the former rebel People's Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK).

"Egyptian authorities are expected to adopt responsible and principled policies and take steps toward preserving peace and stability in the region," the Iranian official said, quoted late Wednesday by the official IRNA news agency.

It did not identify the envoy but Egypt's diplomatic mission in Tehran is headed by Khalid Emara.

Ibrahim Abdel Wahab, an Egyptian lawmaker and member of the foreign relations parliamentary committee, confirmed he had participated in the rally along with nine other Egyptian MPs and public figures.

"This is not a formal participation. We received personal invitations and decided to participate to support the Iranian opposition," Abdel Wahab told AFP from Paris, without giving more details.

He said the parliament deputy speaker Suleiman Wahdan and another member of the defence and national security committee had also attended the rally.

The Egyptian foreign ministry said on its Facebook page that the MPs who attended the rally did not represent the Egyptian government.

Their participation was not in any "official" capacity, it said, stressing that the Egyptian parliament is "fully independent as it represents the legislature power which is independent from the executive power".

Tehran broke off diplomatic relations with Cairo in 1980 a year after Iran's Islamic revolution, in protest at Egypt's signing of a peace treaty with Israel and hosting of the deposed shah.

The two countries maintain only interests sections in each other's capitals.

The envoy for his part stressed that Egypt does not meddle in the domestic affairs of other countries, IRNA reported.

Tehran has also summoned the French ambassador over the annual rally held at Le Bourget, near Paris, by the NCRI, which said that 100,000 Iranians had attended.