Nuclear Deal Inspires Egypt To Look Toward Iran
The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers may see Egypt, a longtime U.S. ally, shift closer to the Iranian axis and away from the Sunni Arab coalition of countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Despite billions in Saudi financial contributions to Egypt in recent months, the Egyptian government opened a new dialogue with Saudi arch-foe Iran following the nuclear deal signed in Vienna two weeks ago, Middle Eastern defense sources told this reporter.
The dialogue is aimed at possible mutual regional cooperation.
The sources said the Egyptians further risked drawing Saudi ire by inviting a delegation this week from the party of Yemen’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is in formal alliance with the Houthi rebel fighters targeting Saudi Arabia from Yemen.
The newfound dialogue with Iran may help explain why Egypt’s moderate military regime recently did an about-face with regard to the conflict in Syria and now advocates for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to be part of a negotiated settlement. The Saudis, by contrast, vehemently oppose the rule of Assad and want him to be completely removed from power.
The Saudis and Egyptians have publicly refuted reports of discord between the two allies.
It is not immediately clear what will come from the Egyptian-Iranian dialogue.
Egypt is an important ally for Israel in fighting extremist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which neighbors the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers, meanwhile, appear to be flirting with both Iran and the Saudis.
Last week, Saudi King Salman held a rare meeting with a Hamas delegation led by the group’s politburo chief, Khaled Meshaal, who was on pilgrimage to Mecca.
One week prior, Meshaal’s deputy, Mussa Abu Marzuk, attended a Ramadan dinner in Lebanon with Iranian-backed Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah and senior members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Middle Eastern defense sources reveal.
Jackie Mason Blasts Iran Deal
Legendary comic Jackie Mason made news for his tongue-in-cheek remarks stating New York restaurants face a harsher inspections regime than Iran’s nuclear facilities will under the terms of the agreement.
He quipped that “we’re more protected from a bad tuna fish than a nuclear bomb.” Mason this comment during an interview on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM.
He jested that Secretary of State John Kerry should pay American taxpayers back for the cost of his airfare to and from the Iran talks.
“This secretary of state, Kerry, negotiated with them for a year-and-a-half and accomplished nothing. He ought to give us back for all the trips he made. He cost us millions of dollars in airplane fares and he came back with nothing except a bad foot.”
“The real agreement he made, I’m sure [Obama] said to them, ‘Listen, could you keep the bomb quiet for a year and a half? Because if you don’t bomb us for a year and a half, I’ll be the big winner. Everyone will see I made a fantastic agreement. If you bomb us after I leave I could always say it’s the other guy’s fault. Because if it’s not for him, this never would have happened,” Mason said.
Continued Mason: “Do you know that in the restaurants of New York, they have an inspection system. You can surprise any restaurant without notice that you can walk in and inspect them…. So we are protected in this city from a bad tuna fish. We’re not protected from a bomb but we’re protected from a bad quality of a tuna fish,” Mason quipped.
New York Times Discovers Classified Information On Clinton’s Private E-Mails