Egyptian President Anwar Sadat has condemned Iran for threatening Gulf states and said that Egypt was prepared to play a major role in any american operation to defend Saudi Arabia.
GV Egyptian President Anwar Sadat applauded as he takes rostrum at National Democratic Party Conference at Cairo University
GV Delegates at the conference
CU President Sadat speaking in Arabic
SV President Sadat speaking in Arabic PAN TO Officials on rostrum, Sadat speaking
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Background: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat has condemned Iran for threatening Gulf states and said that Egypt was prepared to play a major role in any american operation to defend Saudi Arabia. In a speech to the National Democratic Party Congress in Cairo on Wednesday (1 October) he said Iran had threatened military action against any gulf Country which helped Iraq in the war.
SYNOPSIS: President Sadat has offered the United States full freedom to use Egypt as a military springboard for defending Arab and Islamic states as far away as Indonesia. The Egyptian president appeared concerned about the security of Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, although he has lambasted its Government as an "ostrich that buries its head in the sand." Mr Sadat's announcement came after the ruling National Democratic Party approved his request to provide the United States with military facilities at Egyptian airfields and harbours. If Saudi Arabia wanted United States assistance but did not want Americans on its territory then they would go to Egypt instead, he said.
The President told a Congress that four American radar and command planes which the United States is sending to Saudi Arabia had been given permission to fly across Egyptian air space. Another factor behind the Egyptian offer appeared to be the imminent conclusion of a defence pact between Syria and the Soviet Union. Arab press reports said the pact would provide a Soviet presence on Syrian soil. Mr Sadat said the pact would be signed when Syrian President Hafez al-Assad visits moscow this month. The Egyptian President announced that he would tell Washington it could defend Saudi Arabia from Egypt. Late in September he told reporters that America should not let the situation deteriorate until it was "given on a golden plate to someone else."