Egypt's ex-intelligence chief has predicted a military coup that will eventually pit the country's armed forces against the Muslim Brotherhood and its future "Iranian-style revolutionary guard".
Omar Suleiman made the prediction during a conversation with Jehad El-Khazen, a journalist with the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, who reported it in his Sunday column.
Suleiman, whose presidential campaign floundered after legal hurdles, said Egypt faces the prospect of ongoing instability under an Islamist-dominated government.
This could lead to confrontations between Egypt's political groups and citizens, potentially spiralling into a civil war like that witnessed in Iraq, Suleiman told Khazen.
Such as situation would make the prospect of a military coup against the government "very possible", according to the retired general.
He went on to claim that the Brotherhood is forming paramilitary forces modelled on Iran's Revolutionary Guard to be ready in 2 to 3 years and which will fight to protect the Islamist group's political power.
Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh also came under fire from Suleiman, who claimed the Islamist presidential candidate was the founder of the Gamaa Islamiya (Islamic Group), an organisation behind a wave of brutal violence across Egypt in the early 1990s.
Suleiman also condemned the performance of Egypt's new Parliament, saying that MPs have focused on petty issues while ignoring the essential needs of citizens.
He claimed the Brotherhood had deceived the poor, who represent around 40 per cent of Egyptian citizens, by providing them with low-price foodstuffs in return for electoral support.
Suleiman's informal tete-a-tete with Khazen was the 77-year old's first interview since his elimination from Egypt's presidential race in April.
An 11th hour candidate, the ex-spy head was disqualified after failing to meet registration guidelines.