Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ahmadinejad to meet Mubarak in Cairo next month

Al Manar TV reports that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accepted an invitation from Cairo to visit Egypt sometime over the next month. This mark the first time an Iranian president will visit Egypt since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The invitation was extended to Ahmadinejad through the Iranian speaker of parliament, Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, who held talks in Cairo over the weekend with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Iranian student news agency ISNA reported on Monday that Ahmadinejad plans to visit all Arab states, including Egypt.

The announcement about Ahmadinejad's planned visit, as well as the recent trips made by other Iranian officials, demonstrates a change in platform for Egypt. Signs of Egypt's interest in establishing ties with Iran were evident in the meetings Iran's Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel had with Egyptian academics and the political elite.

As he was leaving Egypt, Haddad-Adel made clear Iran's desire to improve relations with Cairo: "Our meetings with senior officials in Egypt were held in a friendly atmosphere. We are ready for additional cooperation between the two countries."

In addition to Haddad-Adel, Iran's nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani also made a recent visit to Cairo, on behalf of Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khameini. Larijani met with high-level Egyptian personalities, as well as diplomats and representatives from the country's professional unions.

Commentary: This is an interesting development for sure. If Mubarak is so openly defying the Imperial policy of isolating Iran it can only be as a sign of frustration with the embarrassing position in which the idiotic Israeli policy towards Gaza has put him. It is unlikely that anything of substance will result from this visit or, for that matter, from any other contacts between Iran and Egypt: the Iranians understand perfectly that Mubarak is an Imperial puppet and a thug and they will never do anything which could help him in any way. They might, however, dangle some political carrot in front of Mubarak's nose in order to further stress the already strained relations between Cairo and Washington (not to mention Jerusalem). Mubarak will probably try to use the threat of a possible rapprochement with Tehran as a way to put pressure on Washington and to get the USA to be at least more aware of Egypt's difficult position as the weakest link in the Imperial noose around the Middle-East. Mubarak's efforts will be, I believe, utterly futile. Washington has a single overwhelming priority in the Middle-East: to comply with whatever policies the Israel Lobby demands. Thus Mubarak will not achieve anything with his new 'sunshine policy' towards Iran and he will only make things worse for himself. As a man stuck in quicksand, every move Mubarak now makes only hastens his inevitable downfall - which is the best thing the Palestinians can hope for at the present time.