Egypt President-elect: Iran News Report Fabricated

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Iran's semi-official FARS news agency got caught in two major lies in the past two weeks.

Newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi said statements attributed to him by FARS were fabricated.

According to the report, Morsi granted an interview with the agency hours before he was declared the winner of Egypt's presidential elections.  The Jerusalem Post reported that FARS even provided an audiotape of the alleged interview, which analysts quoted by the al-Arabiya news channel said was not Morsi's voice.

The interview, published in Persian on the website, quoted Morsi saying he planned to renew Egypt's ties with Iran and "review" the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

Morsi's spokesman told Egypt's state news agency MENA the president-elect "did not give any interview to FARS and everything this [news] agency has published is baseless."

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Morsi during a joint press conference with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, saying "Israel appreciates the democratic process in Egypt and respects its results."

"We look forward to working together with the new administration on the basis of the peace agreement between us," Netanyahu said. "I believe that peace is a vital interest to both countries and I believe that peace is a fundamental piller of stability in the region."

Morsi's dismissal of the report as "baseless" comes just two weeks after Russia and Syria refuted another FARS report stating they would take part in the "biggest ever war games in the Middle East" with China and Iran.

According to that report, 90,000 troops, 1,000 tanks, 400 fighter jets, plus warships, submarines, destroyers and minesweepers would participate in the massive drill.

During a visit to Moscow this week, Syrian President Bashar Assad's political adviser Bouthaina Shaaban told Russia's Interfax news agency "there will be nothing of the sort."

"This is another false report being spread about us," Assad's adviser said.

The Russian Defense Ministry called the FARS report "disinformation," denying it had dispatched warships to Syria.

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