Egyptian-Iranian Conflict Looms Large

The growing tension between Iran and Egypt continues to escalates as the Egyptian government views Iranian action throughout the Middle East as harmful to its national interests. Iran is the most powerful Shiite Muslim nation in the world and thus a threat to Sunni countries like Egypt. An informal alliance of Sunni nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the gulf states and elsewhere is coming together to halt the spread not merely of Iranian influence but of the Shiite religion. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Gheit noted: “The political cards which Iran holds.. it holds as a result of a desire to defend Iranian interests. It might be Iran’s right to try, but Egypt has a right to defend Arab territory.

Many Middle Eastern Arab nations fear the power of Iran which is not considered an Arab society. Gheit cited Iranian influence in Lebanon where it is attempting to install an Islamic government and in Syria and the Palestinian territories as examples of Iran’s growing power.

During the 1950s, Gamel Nasser of Egypt was the hero of many people in the region, today, Iran is assuming that role. That is why it is imperative for Israel to make genuine compromises to ensure Palestinian rule before Iran enters the picture.