Leaders from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood met in a Turkish hotel in 2014 and discussed an alliance against Saudi Arabia, according to secret Iranian intelligence reports obtained by The Intercept.
The IRGC’s foreign military arm, known as the Quds force, sent representatives to meet with three Muslim Brotherhood members in April 2014.
The groups “emphasized that there ‘should be a focus on joint grounds for cooperation,’” with the Brotherhood delegation suggesting the “two sides could join forces against the Saudis,” according to the leaked documents.
The Brotherhood representatives argued the best place for the two groups to partner against Saudi Arabia was in Yemen.
“In Yemen…there should be a joint effort to decrease the conflict between Houthis and Sunni tribes to be able to use their strength against Saudi Arabia,” the Muslim Brotherhood delegation allegedly argued at the summit.
The details of the meeting were reported by a spy from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), a rival of the IRGC. The agent acted as a coordinator of the meeting, according to the MOIS report.
Turkey was the preferred location for the meeting “since it was one of the few countries on good terms with both Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood,” according to The Intercept.
However the Turkish government refused a visa to Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleimani. Other Quds leaders showed up in his place.
The Quds Force representatives in the meeting insisted that they “never had any differences with the Brotherhood,” according to the leaked intelligence report.
Muslim Brotherhood delegates in attendance were leaders all exiled from Egypt – Ibrahim Munir Mustafa, Mahmoud El-Abiary, and Youssef Moustafa Nada – according to the leaked document.
Nada denied attending or hearing about the meeting in an interview with The Intercept.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been designated as a terrorist organization by countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. US President Donald Trump is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization. The Trump administration designated the IRGC a foreign terrorist organization in April.
The summit was held a year after the Muslim Brotherhood was pushed out of power in Egypt and three months after the EU and US said they had taken steps to lift certain sanctions against Iran through the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA).