Egypt is the largest state in the Middle East with a population of 80 million. They have a top notch, U.S. aided military since Egypt became our ally after making peace with Israel. They have been an important counterweight to Iran. Naturally, the Iranians would like to change that. So, it's easy to understand why they are doing everything they can to bring about the downfall of the Mubarak regime and replace it with another radical Islamic state.
From Press TV, an Iranian government news site:
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has called on political leaders in Egypt to follow the “rightful demands” of their people.Those who recall the brutality of the Iranian regime in July 2009 when hundreds of protesters were killed and the insult of family members told to pay for the bullets that killed them might find Iran's current posture a bit hypocritical to say the least.
“Iran expects Egyptian officials to listen to the voice of their Muslim people, respond to their rightful demands and refrain from exerting violence by security forces and police against an Islamic wave of awareness that has spread through the country in form of a popular movement,” Mehmanparast said Saturday.
He further pointed out that Tehran attaches great importance to the fulfillment of public demands in Egypt and added, “Iran regards demonstrations by the Muslim people of this country as a justice-seeking movement in line with their national-religious demands.”
Mehmanparast went on to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran is “closely following up and monitoring developments in Egypt.”
Farideh Farhi, an Iran expert, postulates that Iran is trying to spin what is happening in Egypt in a way that does not come back to bite the Iranian government:
From Time Magazine:
News websites affiliated with Iran's conservative factions have carried jubilant headlines about the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's "Zionist regime." Pages of reader comments celebrate the perceived blow this delivers to American interests in the region, reflecting how quickly Iran's government managed to shape and package its "message" about Egypt's unrest.But frankly, I think Farhi lets the Iranians off the hook a bit too lightly. It's obvious that an Egypt aligned with Iran would be an enormous victory for the Iranians and since we have ample evidence that of their involvement through surrogate groups throughout the Middle East we can easily surmise that Iran is working behind the scenes in Egypt through the radical Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran confronted its own mass uprising in 2009 in the wake of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested election victory, but the state deployed brutal force to crush those protests, known as the Green movement. "Iran is celebrating popular behavior in Egypt that it continues to identify as 'seditious' in Iran," says Farideh Farhi, an Iran expert. "The only way it can partially cover this basic contradiction is by spinning the Egyptian mobilization against dictatorship as the rise of Islamism ignited by the ideal of Iran's 1979 revolution."
As the following from Threat Matrix suggests, there is more to Iran's public statements on the Egypt crisis than mere words:
Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and revolutionBy Thomas JoscelynThere are longstanding ties between the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition group in Egypt and the theocracy in Iran which go back before the Iranian revolution. Some in the U.S. who wish to deny the nexus of Shia and Sunni terrorism would dispute this, but their false hope has been proven wrong so often by now that it's pointless for them to continue making the claim.
January 28, 2011 11:07 PM
"I herewith proclaim to those (Western leaders) who still do not want to see the realities that the political axis of the new Middle East will soon be Islamic rulership and a democracy based on religion," senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said on Friday during public prayers in Tehran.
"All these protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan and Yemen are inspired by Iran's Islamic revolution and these countries are de facto rocked by the aftershock of the Iranian revolution," Khatami claimed, according to Haaretz.
At first blush, Khatami's words may seem like mere hyperbole -- using the unrest throughout the greater Middle East to pat his regime's collective back for their own revolution, which has little to do with today's events. But it would be wrong to dismiss Khatami's rhetoric entirely. A brief history, with an eye on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular, is in order.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2011/01/iran_the_muslim_brotherhood_an.php#ixzz1CacR0OtM
There is just too much information linking Iran and the Brotherhood (1,2)
Leslie Gelb: Beware the Muslim Brotherhood
Even Leslie Gelb, former state department official during the Carter Administration and longtime columnist for the New York Times understands the danger:
Difficult as it may be, let's try for an honest and realistic discussion of Egypt....Let's stop prancing around and proclaiming our devotion to peace, "universal rights" and people power. Instead, let's step back and look hard at what we know and don't know about this popular explosion in the bosom of one of America's most vital allies—and what the United States can and can't do about it.Gelb makes some suggestions for restoring order, a peaceful transition to a post Mubarak government and the beginning of a process to foster full and democratic participation by all Egyptians. He concludes by warning that:"Our foremost fear should be an abrupt change of power or chaos that will benefit only extremists. Our foremost worry should be self-delusion."
The other "devil," now being proclaimed as misunderstood Islamic democrats, is the Muslim Brotherhood, and they should give us great pause. Baloney and wishful thinking aside, the MB would be calamitous for U.S. security. What's more, their current defenders don't really argue that point, as much as they seem to dismiss it as not important or something we can live with. The MB supports Hamas and other terrorist groups, makes friendly noises to Iranian dictators and torturers, would be uncertain landlords of the critical Suez Canal, and opposes the Egyptian-Israeli agreement of 1979, widely regarded as the foundation of peace in the Mideast. Above all, the MB would endanger counterterrorism efforts in the region and worldwide. That is a very big deal.
And while MB leaders profess support for democracy and free speech, my mother's response still holds: "They would say that, wouldn't they?" What I see is that they've quieted their usual inflammatory rhetoric in return for Mubarak not banning them. It would be delusory to take the MB's democratic protestations at face value. Look at who their friends are—like Hamas.
The real danger is that our experts, pundits and professors will talk the Arab and American worlds into believing we can all trust the MB. And that's dangerous because, outside of the government, the MB is the only organized political force, the only group capable of taking power. And if they do gain control, it's going to be almost impossible for the people to take it back. Just look at Iran.
Meanwhile, on the ground in Egypt thousands of terrorists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood are being sprung from prison shortly to flood the country with violence and murder.
From what we have seen of Obama's foreign policy the last two years I would say that "self delusion" is not only a worry, but a given!