Saturday, September 1

Split between Egypt and Iranian leaders?

In the last week there was a huge shift in Middle East fault-lines: As Syrian rebel forces began to win some battles against dictator Bashir Assad, Iran's leaders (Muslim mullahs) were increasing their support, not for the fundamentalist rebels but for Assad.

This alone is surprising. One would think the mullahs would support the Muslim fundamentalists who are leading the uprising. And in a surprising move, as the rebels gained strength the mullahs even sent Iranian troops to help Assad against the rebels.

Iran just finished a week-long conference of Muslim leaders in the entire Middle East. One of the participants was Morsi, head of the Egyptian government, making the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian leader since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In his address to the assembled conferees, Morsi said it was the duty of all good Muslims to support...the rebels. Morsi compared the plight of the Syrian people to that of Palestinians, whose cause is regarded as sacred throughout the Muslim world. Morsi said both Syrians and Palestinians are "actively seeking freedom, dignity and human justice."

The diametric difference between the positions of two of the most populous nations of the Middle East is surprising, to say the least. Since Egypt's revolution succeeded, Iran's mullahs may have backed a losing cause.


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