Iran & Egypt Make Amends
By Micah Halpern
Thursday September 20, 2007
I've Been Thinking:
On Tuesday the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced that Cairo and Tehran were trying to reestablish their diplomatic relations.
On Wednesday Al-Shark Al-Awsat, a London Arabic newspaper, quoted a senior Iranian official saying that Iran and Egypt are "seriously discussing the renewal of their diplomatic relations."
Egypt had broken off diplomatic relations with Iran after Iran named a public square after the assassin of Anwar Sadat. Now, with the same information coming from both sides, the news seems pretty official.
High level Iranian officials visited Cairo earlier in the week. It was a second round of meetings, the first round took place two months ago.
Iran wants to go mainstream within the region again. Iran wants to be at the epicenter of Mid East Arab influence and, once there, use the position as a springboard to repel Western influence in the region.
Egypt is now the epicenter. And Egypt receives $2 billion of aid a year from the US, the second largest recipient of US aid behind Israel.
Iran is trying to smooth over the Shiite Sunni hatred and resentment that has festered for centuries by emphasizing Muslim unity.
Iran buries the United States and the West when it comes to masterful regional diplomatic maneuvering.
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