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Published on February 1st, 2011 | by Eli Clifton3
The Daily Talking Points
News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for February 1:
- The Wall Street Journal: Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Max Boot writes, “[I]t does scant justice to the complexity of the situation to claim that Mr. Mubarak was a superb ally, or to imagine that we can manage an easy transition to a post-Mubarak regime.” Boot uses a series of quotes catalogued by the controversial Middle East Media Research Institute showing “rabid anti-Semitism and anti-Westernism that polluted Egypt’s state-controlled news media.” Boot doesn’t find Mohammed ElBaredei to be an attractive alternative to Mubarak because “[h]e called the Gaza Strip ‘the world’s largest prison’ and declared that it was imperative to ‘open the borders, end the blockade.’ Boot adds, “Mr. ElBaradei also spoke glowingly of Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has assailed Israel in harsh terms and voted against United Nations sanctions on Iran.”
- The Wall Street Journal: Ronen Bergman, an intelligence analyst for Yedioth Ahronoth, an Israeli daily, draws lessons from the fall of the Shah in Iran that apply to the current situation in Egypt, and recommends that the U.S. stand by Mubarak or risk repeating the mistakes that led to “the establishment of an Islamic regime in Tehran that has been no friend to the U.S.” Bergman concludes, “Past experience suggests that if Mr. Mubarak’s regime is toppled, not only will American interests suffer, but the cause of freedom in Egypt could be set back dramatically. And the U.S. will have contributed to a Middle East that is less stable and more dangerous than it is today.”
- AOL News: The American Enterprise Institute’s Michael Rubin opines that the Obama administration must be careful to avoid an “Iran-like tragedy in Egypt” but Mubarak might not be the lynchpin to maintaining U.S. interests in Egypt. “The true value of Egypt was its peace treaty with Israel, an event that predated Mubarak’s rise,” writes Rubin. “Many analysts see the shadow of Iran’s Islamic revolution in the Egyptian chaos. One parallel is certain: Should Mubarak flee, it will be the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end,” he warns. Rubin concludes, “If the White House is to avoid an Iran-like tragedy, it must stay one step ahead of the Brotherhood, refuse to be a populist foil and guarantee the September elections, and bestow legitimacy only upon those groups that eschew violence and abide by the Egyptian constitution.”