A Chance for Cairo – a Threat for Tehran?

Talks about a new alliance emerging in the Middle East, an alliance that shall counteract the influence of Iran and Turkey. How realistic is such a scenario?

Egypt´s way back to the global stage

Egypt is one of the historic powerhouses of the region, with Cairo being the political center of the arab world for centuries. Lately it held this position in times of arab nationalism during the 1960s and -70s, led by its charismatic President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who knew how to elate the masses.

But there wasn´t much of this glory left in recent times.

Especially after the unrest of the Arab Spring and the military coup in 2013, the country was focused on inner stability and didn´t has the time or strenght for an active foreign policy. But that seems to change slowly, as the leaders of the country achieved eight years of peace and some economic recovery. So what could be more natural than some new engagements on the international parquet?

Three of a kind

And this shall happen via cooperation with Jordan and Iraq. Together, they would cover a huge area, from the borders of Libya to Iran and Turkey. With a focus on economy and inner stability, where all three countries have huge troubles. And of course they want to create a counterweight towards Iran and Turkey, the new leaders of the Middle East.

Primarily, it seems that this is all about freeing Iraq from the stranglehold of Tehran. And as the negotiations mention Levante (Sham in Arabic) in particular, the area at the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, one can assume that this is also an attempt to bring Syria back into the arabic sphere after the disastrous civil war.

As neither Egypt nor Jordan will intervene militarily in Syria or Iraq, they may try to make contacts through economic incentives and thus spread their influence. They could even success to a certain extent as Iran has big ecomonics problems by itself and would, as long as it can benefit themselve, allow a certain cooperation.

Tehran holds it´s keys

However, one should not believe that Tehran would give away it´s keys in those countries easily. Iran controls large parts of the political class in Iraq and helped Assad during the civil war. As soon as it catches sight of any danger for their own interests, they will impede this cooperation.

This alliance has the goal to strenghten the arabic status in the region. But in reality, it´s not much more than an alliance by the grace of Tehran.

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