Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"Iran's New Target: Egypt"

Aly is director of the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, an Egyptian version of Shencker at WINEP? In the WSJ, here

"... These latest actions by an emboldened Hezbollah have been spurred on by Iran, which is seeking to further its quest for power in the Arab Middle East. In the past six months, there have been irrefutable signs of Iran's determined effort to sabotage Egypt's attempts at regional stability (as we witnessed in Lebanon 06' and Gaza 09'!). At Tehran's instigation, Hamas rejected the renewal of the six-month, Egypt-brokered cease-fire last summer between it and Israel. This rejection led to the Gaza war in December. At the height of that war, Mr. Nasrallah called on the people of Egypt and its army to march on the city of Rafah to open the border to Gaza by force, a highly inflammatory appeal aimed at causing insurrection.

After the war ended, Egypt resumed its efforts to reach a long-term cease-fire. Iran pressured the Hamas leadership to resist. Cairo's ongoing effort to build a Palestinian unity government, by bringing together Fatah and Hamas, has also been undermined by intense Iranian pressure on Hamas.

Tehran sees Egypt as its greatest rival in the region, and the most formidable Arab bulwark opposing its influence. It is in this context that Hezbollah actions in Egypt should be assessed. Acting as a front for Iranian objectives, Hezbollah is tasked with distracting Egypt from the diplomatic process that will hopefully lead one day to a two-state solution in the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Egypt's persistent attempts to bring about peace in this arena and its encouragement of other Arab countries to follow its path with Israel threaten to deprive Iran of the single most potent regional issue that it can exploit to further its radical agenda. ...

It is said that Mr. Obama is still weighing when and where to deliver a major speech to the Arab world. If he were to make such a speech in Cairo, it would give heart to millions in the region who want to see the peace process succeed. It would also send a firm message to Tehran that America stands with Egypt on the side of peace and stability."

1 comment:

Warning Senior Founding Member of the FLC said...

The pig influenza in ME politics is similar to acute 'schenkeritis maximus' and is very contagious as Aly's 'condition', from decrepit al Ahram indicates. Iran's quest for power in the Arab world, is a ridiculous concept as flying pigs with influenza. The regression of Egypt's role in regional affairs is compensated by Iran's assertiveness fulfilling a cardinal law, namely that nature abhors the void. When, and if Egypt returns to its traditional role of custodian of Arab tradition of opposition to foreign hegemony, then Iran's role will be cut down to a more palatable size.