Crossfire War – TEHRAN WATCH – West Asia Theatre: Tehran/Cairo; Iran FM Mottaki Passes through Cairo – Iran/Egypt Comparing Differences – Conflicting Projections – Tehran Announces Withdrawal from IAEA
Night Watch: ISKANDARIYAH (ALEXANDRIA) – Iran Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has just arrived in Egypt, Iskandariyah (Alexandria) at the head of a high level delegation to confront senior Egyptian leaders on Cairo’s position vis-a-vis the Islamic world. Mottaki is to confront Egypt Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and President Hosni Mubarak as to why Cairo is no longer responsive to the demands of the population who clearly wants a more confrontational stand against the West and also Israel.[IRNA}
Tehran/Cairo may have presented their projections to each other of where the Islamic world should be in the very near future, next month for instance and beyond, in an attempt to find some, if any, common ground. Mottaki could say the Islamic world will be more one in its thinking and policies concerning issues in the international arena, while Mubarak could counter by saying he will still be ruling Egypt with his son to follow.
There were several demonstrations in Cairo against Israel which in so many ways were seen as more of a threat to the Mubarak dynasty. It is obvious Mubarak’s position remains isolated which is why I am surprised at Mottaki’s visit at such a late date. I suspect Mottaki’s and Tehran’s real reason is to hint about the new wave of Islamic radicalism caused by Hezbollah – Lebanon’s popular war against Israel and that such popularity should be reflected by every Islamic government especially in view of crises coming in the near future against the West concerning Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
The Speaker of Iran’s Majlis (Parliamaent) Gholam-Ali-Haddad-Adel stated today, “We will not accept suspension of enrichment.” He prefaced Tehran’s position by saying, “There will be no reason for us to remain a member of the international bodies and IAEA if our membership is to result in our deprivation of our inalienable rights.” Their right to nuclear power-weaponry. It is significant Tehran had him say bodies, plural, not just withdrawal from the IAEA but perhaps also from its parent organization the United Nations. Other Islamic governments may withdraw also in an obvious show of support for Tehran and its leadership. But where will Mubarak be when this, more serious, crisis and division of relations is conducted? [IRNA]
Tehran and Mottaki know that Mubarak has no intention of leaving its close, cherished relations with the West, so Mottaki may hint of a new wave of unrest in countries that are unresponsive to the demands of the population. An unrest Tehran will be encouraging. Tehran may also know personally every Minister of Parliament in Cairo that supports the Muslim Brotherhood who are definitely experiencing a new wave of support. The next leader of Egypt could come from them and not in the distant future.
I assume Mubarak heard the recent news announcement that al-Qaeda (Iran) has a new branch in Egypt and even more insulting and threatening to him personally is that Tehran had the head of the branch to be the younger brother of the assassin of Anwar al-Sadat, Mubarak’s predecessor, who was assassinated in 1981. He also knows Tehran even named a street after the assassin. Mubarak also knows that Egypt’s military has attacked the al-Qaeda bases in the mountains of northern Sinai and suffered heavy losses. Perhaps Mubarak will attempt to say, as diplomatically as possible, that Cairo, his government, can stand on its own.
This is just short of a declaration of war. Mottaki arrived in Egypt after an agreeable meeting with Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh. That could mean Yemen would not mind if international shipping is attacked again off their coast in the Strait of Mandab, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Oman, an economic chokepoint, creating a crisis in world energy markets, accelerating the price of oil. It was a tanker that was attacked there a few years ago. Tehran has enabled al-Qaeda positions in the Sinai Peninsula to attack shipping along the Suez Canal further north.
Mottaki’s first visit on his three nation tour was Istanbul where he had an extremely agreeable meeting with Turkey’s leadership.