The remarkable rising against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has roused interest throughout the world. Interest is especially keen in Iran, where official statements and propaganda have been aimed at the so-called Arab Street for many years now. Egyptians did not need a foreign agit-prop campaign to know Mubarak was brutal and corrupt, that he had acquiesced to various US and Israeli policies, and that their futures were not bright. Nonetheless, Iran will seek to take advantage of the new situation, and interaction between the two countries will be critical for years to come.
The Conflict With Sunni-Arab States
For decades now, there has been a low-level conflict between Iran and several Sunni-Arab states. The origin of the conflict goes back centuries and involves both sectarian and geopolitical elements. Its more immediate cause was Ayatollah Khomeini’s call for Islamic revolution in 1979 and Iraq’s invasion the following year, which was backed by many Sunni Arab states.