Egypt Between Gulf Estrangement And Iranian Courtship


07 February 2013

By Dr. Hamad Al-Majid

Iran's policy in the region is like a harmful virus that only spreads in a contaminated climate

Egyptian-Gulf relations were polluted somewhat after the victory of the Islamists in the Egyptian presidential elections, and the Gulf governments' fear that the revolution would be exported to their countries, and so the Iranian virus has emerged, this time through the visit of Iran's Foreign Minister [Ali Akbar Salehi] to Egypt. Hamas' relations with the Gulf were contaminated because of the repercussions of successive Gulf crises and the Gulf's preference for dealing with Fatah, and so the Iranian virus spread within the Palestinian body. The Lebanese environment has been contaminated by its sectarian conflicts and hence the most dangerous strains of the virus extended into southern Lebanon. Finally, the air between some Islamist trends and their governments has also become contaminated, for example with the Ennahda movement in Tunisia and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the Mubarak era, and thus Iran, with its Shiite ideology, has tried to penetrate both states where the Muslim community is 100 percent Sunni.

Just as a virus may weaken in cleaner air and become benign, the same goes for Iran's policy, whereby it has been marred and weakened as a result of the Syrian revolution. The brave, popular Syrian revolution has become the strongest sterilizer; lethal to all germs created by the Iranian virus, like the germs of "resistance", "victory for the suppressed", "sectarianism" and "Islamic unity". Yet because of this powerful blow dealt to the Iranian virus, Iran's policy has found a new opportunity for growth reproduction in the polluted atmosphere between Cairo and some Gulf states. However, the opportunity this time is much smaller, as the Syrian revolution, with its strong sterilization dose, has made the Iranian virus appear weak as it moves to new ground. The virus is being spread by the Iranian Foreign Minister, who is primarily responsible for its extension and multiplication, from the presidential palace in Cairo to al-Azhar. Yet even from the Sheikh of al-Azhar, Salehi is finding resistance he did not encounter before. He is being told in explicit, diplomatic language about the suffering of the Sunnis in Iran, the Shiite proselytizing in Egypt; a country with a harmonious sectarian fabric, and the need to criminalize the Iranian government for insulting the prophet.

The Iranian virus, as I pointed out earlier, strengthens or weakens in accordance with a contaminated or clean environment, and this means that it can become active at any moment. Here I will say that in the Gulf, certain categories are working, albeit unintentionally, to create an appropriate environment for the multiplication of Iranian virus and all the disease it creates, through aggravating relations with a pivotal and influential state such as Egypt. Some Gulf media outlets are attempting to cloud the atmosphere inside Egypt under the pretext of weakening it politically and economically so it becomes preoccupied with its internal problems, which in turn will create the rotten environment required for Iranian virus. Instead, the Gulf governments and their media must build on President Mursi's policy of spurning Iran's advances, rather than doubting it.

The visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi to Egypt proves that this is the new breeding ground for Iranian virus. Even though President Mursi scolded the Iranians' policy towards Syria in their own back yard, renounced the legitimacy of Bashar al-Assad, condemning his brutal crimes, and stressed that the security of the Gulf is a red line, the Iranians have repressed their anger. They have forgotten President Mursi's remarks and instead have embarked on diplomatic activities to create a foothold for Iranian influence, which has been severely damaged by the Syrian revolution. When the Gulf abandoned Hamas the air was filled with Iranian virus, so do not abandon Egypt and leave it to the same fate.

Dr. Hamad Al-Majid is a journalist and former member of the official Saudi National Organization for Human Rights. Al-Majid is a graduate of Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University in Riyadh and holds an M.A. from California and a Doctorate from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom.

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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