A fundamental problem with American foreign policy is to ignore the dynamics of conflict within the Middle East that has nothing to do with Western nations. Iran reacted strongly to comments by Egyptian President Mubarak who sharply condemned Iranian attempts to interfere in regional issues. Iran’s Shiite government has been supporting Sunni groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood because they are able to downplay religious issues by focusing on Israel and the Iraq war. Mubarak told an interviewer “if you complain of interventions from external forces in Iran… don’t do it with other countries.”
Relations between the countries have worsened after discovery of an Iranian backed Hezbollah cell in Egypt. If the Israel -Palestinian conflict could be resolved it might be possible to deflect the impact of Iranian influence by emphasizing religious and ideological issues which ordinarily separate Shiites and Sunnis.