Egypt – Iran’s take


What good for Iran?

Is it good for the US?  Israel?



Iranian Media Hail Egypt ‘Revolution’

Friday, January 28, 2011
By Patrick Goodenough



( – Media in the Arab world are generally reporting cautiously on the protests rocking Egypt following the shakeup in Tunisia, but those in Iran are giving the turmoil prominent, almost gleeful, coverage.

Sunni Egypt, viewed as the leader of the Arab world, and Shi’ite Iran are longstanding rivals.

Iranian outlets, especially those linked to the government and establishment, are using terms like “revolution” and “uprising” to describe the protests, painting the demonstrators as heroic and giving headline treatment to voices predicting the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.

The approach is in sharp contrast to their treatment of Iran’s own political upheaval following disputed presidential elections 18 months ago. Then many Iranian media organizations promoted the government position and treated protestors unsympathetically – even with contempt. (Traditional media was also heavily censored during that period.)

The Tehran TimesIran Daily and Resalat newspapers were among those that led their Thursday editions with the Egypt story, using headlines like “Spirit of Tunisia comes to Egypt,”  “Egyptians demand end to Mubarak rule” and “Intensification of public protests against Mubarak regime.”

The Tehran Times describes itself as the mouthpiece of the Islamic revolution, Iran Daily is affiliated with the official state IRNA news agency, and Resalat is a conservative daily supportive of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Press TV, which is semi-official and gets state funding, quoted a former Arab League diplomat as saying the uprising in Tunisia was “one of the most inspiring events of the Arab world in the contemporary time,” empowering people in various countries suffering under dictatorships.


Egypt protests

Egyptian riot police clash with anti-government protesters in Suez on Thursday evening, Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo)


“Egypt on verge of revolution,” ran a headline on another story published by Press TV, citing the opinions of a Lebanon-based Mideast scholar. The same story and headline were replicated on the Web site of Iran’s state broadcaster, IRIB.

Some media worked the word “revolution” into headlines even when using wire service copy that did not include the term.

Press TV ran an unscientific poll asking viewers to predict the outcome of the “popular uprising” in Egypt. As of early Friday almost half of respondents said it would lead to Mubarak’s departure from the country, 28 percent said it would be quelled with U.S. support, and roughly the same number selected the option saying it would “bring about Mubarak’s collapse but the remnants of the system will persist.”

Under the headline “Arab world despotism nearing collapse,” IRIB quoted an Islamist analyst, Azzam Tamimi, as saying that regimes were under threat not just Egypt but also Jordan, Algeria, Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

“The U.S. administration is helplessly watching the situation as dictators, which it has backed for decades, are overthrown or on the verge,” commentator Salman Ansari Javid wrote in a Tehran Times op-ed.

“Sooner or later we will have to add these dictators to the list of the endangered species,” he said. “The sooner the better.”

The IRNA news agency highlighted the views of a leading Egyptian scholar, Kamal Helbawi, who predicted the downfall of the regime and said Mubarak may emulate ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who fled into exile earlier this month.

“The people want release from American hegemony and Israeli monopoly and manipulation,” Helbawi told IRNA.


Relations between Egypt and post-revolution Iran historically have been strained over Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and its ties with the U.S., its support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and the state burial Egypt gave the ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (whose first wife was an Egyptian princess) in 1980. After President Anwar Sadat was assassinated in 1981, Iran angered Egypt by naming a street in Tehran after the leader of the assassination plot, who was executed.

The two Muslim countries repeatedly have clashed over the Palestinian issue. Iran is a key backer of Hamas, the terrorist group spawned in 1987 by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Mubarak’s main Islamist rival.

The Egyptian government, meanwhile, supports Hamas’ adversary, Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction, and maintains a security blockade on the border between Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Cairo has also accused Tehran of using another proxy in the Arab world, Hezbollah in Lebanon, to destabilize Egypt.

In one of the classified State Department cables released by Wikileaks late last year, the U.S. envoy in Cairo reported in 2009 that Mubarak had “a visceral hatred for the Islamic Republic, referring repeatedly to Iranians as ‘liars,’ and denouncing them for seeking to destabilize Egypt and the region.”

“There is no doubt that Egypt sees Iran and its greatest long-term threat, both as it develops a nuclear capability and as it seeks to export its ‘Shia revolution,’” Ambassador Margaret Scobey wrote in the cable, according to published reports.

‘Wisdom, enlightened vision’

In contrast to the rhetoric-laden Iranian coverage of the Egyptian protests, most newspapers in Arab states are carrying wire service or correspondents’ reports about the developments with little added comment, along with calls from some quarters for reforms in the region.

Others are playing down the protests while some official news agencies, especially in the Gulf and North Africa, are virtually ignoring them.

The only report in Libya’s JANA news agency relating to Egypt, for example, was a brief item saying that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had phoned Mubarak on Wednesday to consult on “matters of common interest.”

Bahrain’s King Hamad also phoned Mubarak, to stress the “strategic importance of Egypt and its pivotal role as a guarantor of Arab stability,” Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News reported in an item that made no direct reference to the protests.

The king had also hailed Mubarak’s “wisdom, enlightened vision and aspiration to ensure a better future for his people,” the report added


4 Responses to Egypt – Iran’s take

  1. […] rest is here: Egypt – Iran's take « Politics, Religion, and Family Share and […]

  2. Egypt – Iran's take « Politics, Religion, and Family…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bonnie David, txlady706. txlady706 said: Egypt – Iran's take : […]

  4. I thought it might be appropriate to remember what caused the rise of the Ayatollah and Muslim radicalism in Iran.It was the CIA backed overthrow of a democratically elected government and the installation of the dictator Shah Pahlavi.This was done so that we could have control of the oil.It was moral indignation at this abomination that was co-opted by the fanatical Muslim element.In other words we created our own enemy.Should we blind our eyes to our own history so that we make sure to make the same mistake?

    Mohammad Mosaddegh or Mosaddeq (Persian: محمد مصدّق, IPA: [mohæmˈmæd(-e) mosædˈdeɣ] ( listen)*), also Mossadegh, Mossadeq, Mosadeck, or Musaddiq (19 May 1882 – 5 March 1967), was the democratically elected[1][2][3] Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953 when he was overthrown in a coup d’état backed by the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

    From a royal and aristocratic background, Mosaddegh was an author, administrator, lawyer, prominent parliamentarian, and politician. During his time as prime minister, a wide range of progressive social reforms were carried out. Unemployment compensation was introduced, factory owners were ordered to pay benefits to sick and injured workers, and peasants were freed from forced labor in their landlords’ estates. Twenty percent of the money landlords received in rent was placed in a fund to pay for development projects such as public baths, rural housing, and pest control.[4]

    He is most famous as the architect of the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been under British control since 1913 through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) (later British Petroleum or BP). The Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. was controlled by the British government.[5] Mosaddegh was removed from power in a coup on 19 August 1953, organised and carried out by the United States CIA at the request of the British MI6 which chose Iranian General Fazlollah Zahedi to succeed Mosaddegh.[6] The CIA called the coup Operation Ajax[7] after its CIA cryptonym, and as the 28 Mordad 1332 coup in Iran, after its date on the Iranian calendar.[8] Mosaddegh was imprisoned for three years, then put under house arrest until his death.

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