Editor’s Note: The following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports.
WASHINGTON – Just as Washington took the unusual step recently of inviting members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood for White House talks to try regain influence in Cairo, Egyptians followed recent gains by the Muslim Brotherhood in parliament to pursue Tehran as strategic partner instead of Washington, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Given the increasingly close cooperation between what could become an Egyptian government run by the Muslim Brotherhood, Washington also may be looking to the Brotherhood as a potential conduit of communications to Iran, a development that could be unsettling to Israel.
Publicly, the U.S. is cautioning Egypt against growing ties with Iran, while recognizing the reality of the Brotherhood’s possible ascension to leadership in Egypt. U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Ann Paterson has raised concerns about the Brotherhood’s growing links with Iran.
“Washington expresses its concern about the Egyptian Islamic movement’s relations with Tehran,” she said.
For years, however, Shi’ite Iran has been a major financial supporter of the Sunni Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and quietly worked for some two years with the group to oust Washington-backed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.
So, that relationship should be no surprise to Washington.
Analysts say that Iran’s Shi’ite form of Islam has more appeal among Egyptian Sunnis than among Sunnis in other Arab countries, partially due to Iran’s opposition to Mubarak for the past 30 years.
That opposition developed after Mubarak granted the Shah of Iran political asylum in Egypt following the 1979 Iranian revolution.
Now, a new U.S.-based Gallup poll taken since the Brotherhood and the more fundamentalist Salifist al-Nour party combined to establish an Islamist Muslim majority in parliamentary elections earlier this year reveals that some 56 percent of Egyptians see relations with the United States as bad for the country.
This latest consensus is up from 40 percent last December. Only 25 percent say a closer relationship with Washington is a good thing, while 41 percent favor closer ties with Iran.
Furthermore, only 19 percent of Egyptians approve of U.S. government policy while 65 percent disapprove.
In addition, a sizeable majority of Egyptians support replacing U.S. assistance with funds from Iran, while a decreasing number view the treaty with Israel as positive.
Eighty-two percent of Egyptians questioned oppose U.S. economic aid to Egypt, up from 71 percent from last December.
The U.S. provides some $1.7 billion in assistance to Egypt, of which $1.3 billion goes to the Egyptian military.
- Egypt/Iran: Regional balance at risk
- South Africa: Pretoria defying Washington
- Central Asia/Iran: Security pact reinforces Tehran
- Saudi Arabia: Looking for own nuclear energy
- European Union/Iran: Sanctions unraveling?
- Iran: Another end-run on Western sanctions
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