Egypt’s aim, along with Saudi Arabia, is currently in line with the Likudniks and hawks in Washington. They view Iran as an existential threat that needs to be contained at any cost. Both countries are adamant in preventing a Hezbollah-like situation in Gaza, and aim to dislodge Hamas from power whilst it is still weak.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia’s blind obsession with Iran has only created greater resentment and determination among the Arab street to have such leaderships removed. The open and direct accusation of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that Egypt is an accomplice in Israel’s war is indeed new territory in inter-Arab rivalry.
Despite existing tension, Arabs have tended not to publicly shame each other, and maintain their disputes behind closed doors. However, Hezbollah’s public condemnation of Egypt is as much transparent as Mubarak’s open complicity in attempting to destroy Hamas.
Whilst Arab satellite networks broadcast strewn Palestinian bodies and wailing mothers for their lost children, Egypt sends its troops to the Gaza border to prevent the Palestinians from breaking through the Rafah crossing, the only border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit continues to blame Hamas for the fighting, publicly repeating the words of the Israeli press office that the Islamic militants must end its rocket attacks for a cease-fire to work. And in revealing the real reason behind Egypt’s position, Aboul Gheit throughout the course of the conflicted has directed his criticism at Iran.
Egypt has brought its complicity in Israel’s attacks out in the open, and Hezbollah has responded in kind.
The only obvious impression one gets from this conflict is the widening gap between the policies of the Arab trio and the mood of its people. Cairo and Riyadh will stop at no cost to contain Iran, even if it involves a deal with the devil.
However, it’s their deal with the devil that is only endangering the stability of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and strengthening Iran. The further Cairo and Riyadh move in their quest to weaken Iran, the further away they’re moving from their people. The Arab world, with the exception from Lebanon and Iraq, has not bought the Sunni-Shia sectarian propaganda. This has been reinforced by the call of Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Muhammed Mahdi Akef, that he has no problem with Iran spreading Shi’ite Islam in the Arab world.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are driven by their fear that Iran’s populism in its role in the Arab/Israeli conflict, coupled by its fervent Shi’ite Islam and historic rivalries between Persia and Arabia, will ultimately instigate revolts that will topple Mubarak and the Saud family.
The Arab trio have a right to such a fear, it is indeed incredibly plausible. However, the power-corrupt dictators of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have failed to understand Iran’s power in the Arab world. Iran is rising to its heights because it is winning the support of the Arab people. This year, Iranian elections will not only be played out on its own territory, but indeed in elections in Iraq and Lebanon (both also scheduled for this year). The role of Iran will play key factors in both elections, testing Iran’s popularity among the Arab public. The pro-Iranian camps in Lebanon and Iraq may have just received a polls boost courtesy of Egypt and Saudi conspicuous silence on Israel’s war on Gaza.
The people of the Arab world have longed for a leader to fight for their cause, and Iran has stepped up to the challenge. Moving closer to the US and aligning with Israel’s war on the Palestinians is not the path that will secure the dictators of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Instead, reverting to the popular sentiments of the Arab world, and embracing the leadership role on Arab affairs in Palestine and Iraq is what is required to combat Iran and its proxies.
In the view of many Sunni Arabs, it’s the Shi’ites that’s leading the charge to Palestine, not the Sunni Arab states. By dealing with the devil, the leaders of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have only succeeded in increasing opposition to their rule, and endangered their seats on the throne. READ FULL ARTICLE