The head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mustafa Hamza, who is No. 1 on Egypt's most-wanted list, was handed over to Egypt by Iran, Brotherhood officials in London revealed Sunday.
Hamza has been the most sought after men by Egypt since the attempt to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in June 1995, which was planned by the exiled Muslim Brotherhood leader, nicknamed "the Prince."
Dr Hani al-Siba'i, the director of Al-Maqrizi Center for Historical Studies in London, told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat on Sunday that Iran decided to hand over Hamza as part of a deal struck with Cairo. In exchange for Hamza's extradition, Tehran will be allowed to set up cultural centers in Egypt and receive intelligence on the Iranian opposition group known as People's Fighters (Mujahidi Khalq), the members of which live in Egypt.
Egypt also vowed to use its diplomatic channels with the United States to improve Iran's image with Washington, which eyes the Islamic theocracy with great wariness.
Muslim Brotherhood militants were responsible for numerous terror attacks in Egypt, the most deadly of which took place on November 1997 in the resort of Luxor, where 58 tourists and four Egyptian lost their lives.
Iranian state-owned media reported that Hamza was handed over at his own will, denying reports that Iranian security officials had arrested him. Muslim Brotherhood officials in London rebuked Iran's claims as "sheer lies," arguing that Hamza could not have possibly agreed to return to Egypt where he faces several irrevocable life sentences issued by military courts.