Partners In PovertyOh, good! Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is busy mending fences, making new friends and re-acquainting himself with old enemies. The Gulf States and Saudi Arabia will in all likelihood always view the Islamic Republic of Iran with distaste and suspicion. But obviously there is room elsewhere to snuggle in. Turkey, for example, under its current Islamist government is comfortable with its friendship with Iran, even though its admiration for Syrian President al-Assad has declined notably.
That Ankara sees Damascus as a possible threat to the stability of Turkey, with malicious potential to stir up the Kurdish situation, and viewing with abhorrence the Alawite regime's attack on its own civilian populations, requesting Patriot Missiles to be placed on Turkish soil to defend against potential military attacks is understandable. What defies logic is that Turkey still courts and values its friendship with Syria's sponsor of oppressive retaliation against its own, Iran.
Still, Iran can use all the friends it can manage to entice into its ring of supporters. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been cordially invited by Mahmoud Abbas to visit with him in Ramallah. The two Mahmouds will get on smashingly together. Each can speak to the other about the misery that afflicts them both with the too-near presence of a Jewish state inflicting its presence on Islamic soil, despoiling its purity.
And Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, during the Cairo-based Islamic summit, welcomed Mr. Ahmadinejad warmly, eager to mend broken relations between the two countries, now three decades old. Egypt's economy is in parlous straits. Its manufacturing, foreign investment and tourism have all suffered dreadfully thanks to the destructive, ongoing protests by vehement socialists and secularists deploring the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamism.
And so, how kind it was of the president of Iran to offer to extend a credit line and investments to Egypt. And to lift visa requirements for Egyptian tourists and businessmen. Expecting, he declared, the volume of bilateral trade to reach $20-billion annually in ten years' time. As well, the estimated 8 to ten million Iranians who holiday abroad annually, could come to Egypt, and spend their money there!
Iran's economy is no longer in such dire straits as a result of the 'crippling' sanctions imposed by the UN and US? Who knew?