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Ed Webb

Twitter / JZarif: tragedy in syria is a trap ... - 0 views

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    A very interesting tweet from Iran's foreign minister, newly active on Twitter.
Ed Webb

Stronger Egypt-Iran rapproachement could be a message to third parties | Egypt Independent - 1 views

  • Ahmadinejad wants to convey regional leadership and to claim success in opening and warming relations with Egypt. He also benefits from having an Islamist leader, like Morsy, greet him warmly
  • “With so much trouble at home, Morsy may have wanted to look like a global statesman by welcoming Ahmadinejad. He may also want to signal his independence from Western political interests, as we’ve seen through his warming relations with the Hamas’ leadership,”
  • During a news conference, an Al-Azhar spokesperson gave the Iranian leader a public scolding, listing five demands, which included the protection of Sunni and Khuzestani minorities in Iran, ending political interference in Bahrain, ending its support of the Syrian regime, and ending Iran’s ostensible mission to spread Shia Islam across the region.
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  • “Morsy sends a clear message to the Gulf countries and especially the [United Arab Emirates] that he can easily create alternative strategic relationship,” Labbad says, adding that such “political vexing” is a response to the failure of the visit by Morsy adviser Essam al-Haddad to resolve the issue of 11 Egyptian detainees in the UAE. The latter are said to have strong connections to the Brotherhood’s international organization, in the midst of growing enmity between Egypt and the UAE..

    Labbad argues that Morsy thus does not aim at real and deep rapprochement with Iran, but rather a cosmetic patch up to send signals to the Gulf. “The context here is very dangerous, because the revived relationship with Iran should be an addition to Egypt’s foreign policy, not a replacement of its relationship with the Gulf countries,” he adds.

    Momani doubts such an inclination by Morsy, as Egypt cannot afford the cost of such a policy. “This strategy can backfire and upset Gulf donors and benefactors. Iran can never supply the kinds of funds that are provided by the Gulf,” she says.

  • “I think neither Morsy nor Ahmadinejad enjoy the authority to have complete control or knowledge of their respective government’s grand strategies for Syria. What seems certain is that a realist agenda determines foreign policy on both sides. Both seek a Syrian government they can control or at least influence,”
Ed Webb

An open letter to the New York Times concerning Thomas Friedman | Daniel W. Drezner - 1 views

  • Why not "negotiate with the Iranian people?"  Well, to get technical about it, they're not the ones controlling Iran's nuclear program.  That's not a minor issue.  For all this talk about how states are irrelevant in the 21st century, on matters of hard security not much has changed.  Lest Friedman or anyone else doubt this, recall that the Iranian state has proven itself more than capable of suppressing the Iranian people over the past four years.
  • Iranians take nationalist pride in the technological accomplishments of their national nuclear program.  Furthermore, in a propaganda war between the U.S. government and their own government, the U.S. is probably gonna lose even if it possesses the better argument.  For all of Friedman's loose talk about the power of social media in a digitized world, he elides the point that one of the sentiments that social media is best at magnifying is nationalism
  • Friedman's "break all the rules" strategy is as transgressive as those dumb-ass Dr. Pepper commercials.  Worse, he's recommending a policy that would actually be counter-productive to any hope of reaching a deal with Iran.
Ed Webb

Agence Global-Article - 0 views

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    Heh. I'm not sure whom Patrick wishes to persuade with this.
Ed Webb

The Israeli Debate on Attacking Iran is Over - By Shai Feldman | The Middle East Channel - 0 views

  • Peres gave expression to what almost every former and presently serving Israeli defense chief understands: namely, since the Obama White House has accommodated Israel's defense needs above and beyond all previous U.S. administrations, and given the intimate relations between the Israeli and U.S. defense communities, Israel simply cannot take action that would be framed in Washington as "putting American lives at risk."
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    I'm not convinced that the debate is over. But this is an interesting intervention.
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