Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Splendid Vision of Democracy

That's the accolade given by Iran in response to the recent presidential election that took place in Egypt that has brought the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi to his new position as president-elect of 80 million Egyptians.  And Mr. Morsi has promised Egyptians that he will represent them all, irrespective of gender, religion or ideology.  To further emphasize his commitment to bringing democracy to Egypt, he has officially distanced himself from the Muslim Brotherhood, belying his life-long commitment.

He has also pledged to announce the appointment of no fewer than six vice-presidents, each to represent a different facet of religion, political allegiance, gender.  He has a rather crowded agenda. Somehow mending the broken economy, assuring Egyptians that he will not impose Sharia law, improving employment prospects for those desperate to find work, bringing tourism back to where it left off after the evolution of the revolution of the Arab Spring, among many other imperatives.

 Top of mind for him appears to have been 'normalizing' relations with Iran.  One Shia the other Sunni, but both dedicated to a fiercely fanatical view of Islam.  Where Mr. Morsi's challenger for the position of president, former air force general, former prime minister Ahmed Shafik has gone to Saudi Arabia, no doubt to reassure the Saudis that all is not as bleak as it appears, Mr. Morsi is courting Iran.

"We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region", claimed Mr. Morsi, reported by the Fars news agency.  For their part, Iran has hailed Mr. Morsi's victory as a "splendid vision of democracy" that emphasizes the country's "Islamic Awakening".

Something like Iran's last presidential election, a miserably corrupt affair that brought Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back to power by orchestrated acclaim to the disgust and through the objections mounted day after day by opponents of the regime.  That growing backlash that resulted in daily protests and crowds gathering in the streets of Tehran to demonstrate their lack of acceptance of the political coup, was brutally put down by the regime's Republican Guard and police arresting and torturing protesters.

Another splendid vision of democracy so beloved of the Iranian theocracy portraying themselves as the vanguard of a new Islamist vision of Middle East renaissance.  The split between Iran and Egypt resulted from the formal recognition by Egypt of Israel, and the signing of the peace treaty that brought the Sinai back to Egypt and an icy peace between the neighbours, hugely resented by the other Arab and Muslim states as a betrayal of Islam.

"Iran is hoping for Egypt to become a deterrent against an Israeli attack as well as a regional player that Iran can use as a potential counter-balance against Turkey and Saudi Arabia", claimed a Tehran-based diplomat.

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