Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Transformation of M.E. Landscape of Power

Amidst the recent developments in Middle East power politics, Israel seems highly frightened of losing partners while others gaining more strategic positions at the political scene. The Jewish State, in severe need of friendly relation with the regional powers, seems to have come across further obnoxious happenings. The public revolt in Egypt particularly proved a potential threat or, at least, loss of a strategic friendly regime to US's main ally in M.E. The recent socio-political events are radically changing the political landscape, and leaving Israel increasingly concerned about its security.

Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday April 17, 2011 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is worried by apparently anti-Israeli statements made by Egyptian politicians in recent weeks. Addressing European Union envoys last week, Netanyahu said he was "very concerned over some of the voices we've been hearing from Egypt recently," the newspaper said. According to the newspaper, Netanyahu's remarks reflect the fears of several senior foreign ministry officials following statements made by high-ranking Egyptian officials at a demonstration outside Israel's Cairo embassy and its consulate in Alexandria.

A loss for Israel is, to some extent, a direct gain for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Following democratic movements in Tunisia and Egypt and subsequent to collapse of Mubarak government, experts acknowledged Iran's glee on the occasion. They said the Islamic Republic had obtained marvelous opportunity to expand its area of influence and add to its share in the regional politics. Iran's most critical foe in the Arab world Mubarak was ousted from power and protests continue spreading across Middle Eastern countries.

It brings Iran an enormous chance for seeking bigger role in M.E. power politics. Soon after fall of Mubarak regime, Egypt agreed to let two Iranian naval vessels transit the Suez Canal. The move, however was set earlier than public uprisings, came despite expressions of concern by Israeli officials. Iran said the vessels were heading to Syria for training and the request to move through the canal was in line with international regulations. It was the first time since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution that Iranian warships passed through the Suez Canal, an opportunity facilitated by recent political developments in the region.

Attempting to optimize the opportunity, Iranian officials have expressed tendency to promptly resume relations with the post-Mubrak regime in Egypt, a call that has received positive response from Egyptian officials. Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi, appointed after the ouster of Mubarak, said earlier this month that Cairo was ready to open a "new page" with the Islamic republic.

In the meantime, Iranian official news agency, IRNA, reported on Monday that an Egyptian Islamist and a long-time opponent of the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak has held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. Magdi Hussein, Secretary General of Egypt's Islamist Labour Party (Al-Amal), recently announced his intention to run for the presidential election later this year.

Although the statements do not indicate a big win for one or loss for the other, what is clear is that landscape of power in the region is transforming and there will come certain position changes in the regional power contest.