Ahmadinejad in Egypt and the Shaykhs of Al-Azhar

Ahmadinejad is in Egypt right for the first visit by an Iranian head-of-state in decades. The shaykhs of Al-Azhar have shared their criticism of Iran’s regional policies with Ahmadinejad. They have expressed their concern with Iranian “meddling” in the Persian Gulf along with Iran’s support for the Assad dictatorship in Syria. Could the shaykhs of Al-Azhar be anymore sectarian? They support the Bahraini dictatorship in the face of pro-democracy protests only because the regime there is Sunni and the pro-democracy protesters are largely (though not exclusively) Shi’ites. And they support the uprising in Syria only because it is against a non-Sunni regime. What hypocrisy. I think it’s important to condemn dictatorships across the board, starting with the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms (emphasis SAUDI ARABIA). But I should not be so annoyed since nobody really cares what the shaykhs of Al-Azhar have to say. I mean, these are the same shaykhs that came out against the uprising in their own Egypt and then switched sides when it became apparent that the regime was falling. These are the same shaykhs that gave religious sanction to Egypt’s wars with Israel and then switched policies when the Sadat regime sought peace in the late 70s. They go in any direction the wind blows. Here’s the al-Jazeera video brief on the visit.

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4 Responses to Ahmadinejad in Egypt and the Shaykhs of Al-Azhar

  1. PB says:

    Biden said talks with increasing pressure. This means that the purpose of the talks is simply to show the world that Obama was able “to bring Iran to the negotiating table.”

    Obama’s strategy is not to solve the problem, rather to show global markets that the US remains in firm control of the ME and that Obama is EVEN managing Iran and has it cornered.

    The fear is that those trillions in offshore accounts will fly to another nation or nations if Obama is unable to assure them that the US remain THE place to invest.

    As I had mentioned a year ago, one must wait for the dust to settle and see who is standing. In Syria, the Assad regime just finished a counter offensive which brought mass defeat to the rebells. The fruits of that offensive is that the Syrian Opposition leader has asked to meet with Assad’s government, already met with Russian and Iranian FM’s. This means that Iran’s assertion that there is no other way but negotiating with the devil himself remains the only possible option. Notice, Assad has yet to respond to the Syrian Opposition. Why? because they want to wait for Iran to squeeze him more. It is likely that only some segments of the Opposition will actually meet with Assad and will probably be rewarded for it. This will further divide the Opposition.

    Both Morsi and Erdogan are beginning to make statements that they will need to solve the problem with Iran.

    Expect Iran’s hands to strengthen after the Khazakestan talks later this month because there won’t be breakthrough. Once again, Obama like his predecessors have managed to further weaken US position in ME by not dealing with Iran for she is, a regional power poised to become for influential in the decade to come.

  2. PB says:

    Correction to the last sentence:

    “…not dealing with Iran for WHAT she is, a regional power poised to become MORE influential in the decade to come.”

  3. PB says:

    Morsi said Egypt is likely to have the same challenges as Iran, as our revolution is likely to resemble that of Iran’s, we need to have relations with Iran if we want to become as advanced as Iran.

  4. iPouya says:

    hi PB, your analysis is fascinating. Thank you for sharing. Do happen to have the source for the Morsi quote in your 3rd comment? I’d love to read it.

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