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Egypt summons Iran envoy over Sadat movie

"Assassination of a Pharaoh" upsets Egyptian sensibilities

Egypt summoned a senior Iranian diplomat in Cairo on Monday over an Iranian documentary film on the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, an Egyptian Foreign Ministry official and state media said.

Egypt's state news agency MENA said Cairo called in the head of the Iranian interests office in Cairo over the film, which upset Egyptian sensibilities.

According to the Iranian film, Sadat was killed for signing the 1978 Camp David Accords that led to a 1979 peace treaty with Israel, the first by an Arab country.

The documentary, entitled "Assassination of a Pharaoh," has already been shown on Iranian television, the Al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported.

The film, broadcast "in honor of the martyrs of the Islamic renaissance," deals with "the revolutionary assassination of the treacherous Egyptian president at the hands of the martyr Khaled Islambouli," the paper said.

Islamic militant Islambouli was one of the soldiers who shot Sadat dead at a military parade in Cairo on October 6, 1981. He was hanged for the killing in 1982 and subsequently had a Tehran road named after him.

The newspaper quoted a leader of former militant group Gamaa Islamiya, one of those charged with Sadat's killing, as saying: "Sadat was a great man (but) Khaled Islambouli thought he was doing right by killing him.

Family angered

Meanwhile the family of Anwar Sadat has threatened to sue the Iranian producers of the film portraying his assassination as the killing of a traitor by a martyr.

"The producers should have asked for the family's authorization before making the film," said Sadat's daughter, Roqeya. "Such slander will receive a strong response."

"Making this film is a low attempt to tarnish the image of the
man and falsify history," said Sadat's nephew and MP Talat.

Diplomatic ties between Egypt and Iran were severed in 1980, a year after Iran’s Islamic revolution, in protest at Egypt's recognition of Israel, its hosting of the deposed shah and its support for Iraq during its 1980-1988 war with Iran.

Iran said in January it was close to restoring full diplomatic relations with Egypt, but Egyptian officials have been more cautious.

Cairo has said the Tehran street named after Sadat's assassin should be changed and murals in the Iranian capital of the killer removed while some security issues also need to be resolved.