Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Morsi Visit to Tehran Raises Questions, But No Answers

Before the week is over, Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi will make a visit to Tehran on his way home from China. Speculation is rampant as to what is going to take place during his short visit.

At least one Iranian legislator has suggested that one stop on the tour will be a visit to one of Iran’s nuclear power plants as a prelude to Iran sharing its nuclear technology with Egypt. Mansour Haqiqatpour said that Iran and Egypt can do “joint ventures in the nuclear field, and Iran is ready to transfer its know-how and experience to Egypt.” He said that, “the Iranian nation and government care about Egypt as an Islamic state and want Egypt to be a glorious country in international circles, so Egypt's president can visit all Iranian nuclear centers."

However, the primary purpose of Morsi’s visit is to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit meeting where he will hand the chairman’s gavel to Iranian President Ahmadinejad. And the visit may not be quite as friendly as the Iranian press and government would like to paint it.

The Fars News Agency recently reported that President Morsi is hoping to “restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region.” On the other hand, Morsi’s office claims that he never made that statement or commitment.

It’s hard to know whom to believe. Both governments have a consistent record of denying things that they have allegedly said or done. Only three weeks ago, a spokesman for the Egyptian president officially denied that Morsi would even visit Iran. Which only makes it harder to believe when the same official says that Morsi will focus on the NAM and will have no bilateral talks with Iranian officials while there.

It appears that Iran is looking for another partner in the Middle East as Syria’s continuing problems remove it from a position of influence. With a new regime, Iran may see Egypt as their best alternative. From Morsi’s perspective, however, the stabilization of his own country has to be his priority. When he has the country situated as he wants it, he may not be interested in being a partner with Ahmadinejad and Khomenei who really want to be in control of the entire region. Why would Morsi want that?

The fact is that we do not know what will happen during Morsi’s visit. We do not know what will be shared in secret. But we do know this: That we can pray as David did that the Lord will “Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity.” (Psalm 64:2). Let us pray together that the Lord will hide Israel from anything that might be said or done to unite these men together in any way that would bring any harm to Israel.

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