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Blaming Egypt for the Syrian uprising - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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He was not even ashamed when speaking explicitly in the Egyptian capital of his support for the Syrian regime. This was Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman for the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the first guest of the Iranian regime to visit Egypt after the revolution. He did not avoid questions or give unspecific answers, but he impudently accused the millions of Syrians who take to streets every week to protest against the Syrian regime of being part of an American conspiracy, prompted by the Egyptian revolution. He said “America has lost Egypt as an important base in the region, and of course, both the US and the Zionist entity have been harmed considerably. It is for this reason that America has mobilized all its energy to break down the resistance in Syria.” What he meant is that the US has mobilized millions of Syrians, from Daraa to Hama, to break down “the resistance”; the resistance meaning the Syrian regime, which has not fired a single bullet in 40 years against Israel.

The [Arab] dispute with Iran over specific issues is understandable and acceptable in its ordinary context – from Hezbollah’s alleged resistance which aims only to ensure control of Lebanon, to the disagreement over oil prices. However, daring to level such accusations against the Syrian people in the biggest Arab capital, and in the setting that inspired the Syrian revolution, confirms that Iran is unable to understand the changes taking place in the region.

Regardless of when the Syrian revolution will end, or what results it will produce, Iran is the biggest loser. Setting fire to Iranian flags in Syrian squares is the most poignant expression, as the Syrian people consider Iran to be the regime’s partner in repressing them. Such accusations have been strengthened by what Boroujerdi said in Cairo about Iran backing Syria in order to stabilize the situation, alongside the news that Iran is sending militias, arms, and support at all levels, to prop up its ally.

Iran itself is concerned because of the popular divisions caused by rising struggles amongst pillars of the Iranian government, as well as the increasing public discontent towards the regime both politically and economically. The Iranian people can see with their own eyes how their resources are being squandered in support of the security apparatus and army in Syria, aiding them in the suppression of their own people. The Iranians can also see how their government’s behavior is further provoking the Syrian people’s anger.

It does not matter what the pillars of the Iranian regime say, or what they explicitly announce against the Syrian people, because there is a historic inevitability which dictates that suppressive regimes are destined to fall. Today, the decision maker will not be an Iranian, an American, or a Turk, but rather the Syrian people themselves who take to streets every day despite the killings, brutal torture and all manners of cruelty. The Syrians have been exposed to a kind of repression unprecedented in Arab contemporary history, except in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein.

Boroujerdi must not be deceived by the protocol reception he received in Cairo today, because the Egyptians will not end up in the same Iranian trench alongside the Syrian regime. Iran, since the overthrow of Mubarak, has sought to promote relations and change the compass of Egypt’s foreign policy, which is unlikely. Ever since 1952, Egypt has never been an ally of Iran, because of the balance of powers in the region and by virtue of the profound disagreements between the two regimes in all previous periods. The Egyptians who revolted against authoritarian, hereditary rule, corruption, and repression can by no means end up in a trench with Iran and Syria, a regime which sits atop the throne of the worst ruling systems.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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