Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Teheran—Mustafa al-Kadhimi of Al-Monitor reports that while Saudi Arabia and Qatar regionally compete and disagree about the fate of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood—Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s worst enemy—Saudi Arabia and Qatar joined forces against Iran and in support of the Syrian rebels, largely composed of Muslim Brotherhood elements. Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood receives similar support from the Gulf States, despite the fact that they hold divergent positions in regard to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, Iran stands with Assad’s regime, being fought by Islamic factions backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas—with backing and sponsorship from Iran. As such, Iran considered the ascent of the military in Egypt as a coup against the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Assad considered the Muslim Brotherhood’s downfall a victory and welcomed the initiative. Iraq is eradicating  its own Baathists’ yet is accused of supporting Baathists in Syria. Iraq, close with Iran, disagrees with Tehran about Egypt and backs the military over the Muslim Brotherhood. Thus, Baghdad and Saudi Arabia are unfriendly, and Iraq goes against its main backer, Washington. Meanwhile, as Prince Bandar pays for Sunni jihadists  and mercenaries from around the world to come to Syria, Arab Gulf States  are some of the United States’ most trusted friends in the region, and agree with Washington in backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria—while disagreeing with the Americans on the subject of Egypt and Iraq. ‘Most everyone in the Middle East agrees that the region’s countries suffer from deep divisions that made each of them part of one of two axes: the “axis of defiance” and the “axis of moderation.’ The truth is that the axes were not initially established to serve the specific goals of one particular sect. To understand this overlap in positions: Countries adopt stances primarily to safeguard their interests. They might then decide to take a position that is religious-, ethnic- or humanitarian-oriented, and then use that position to guarantee their interests.”

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