Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. (photo by REUTERS)
Our region, the Middle East, is fraught with anticipation of war to a degree perhaps without precedent at any time in its history. Many regional developments hinge on just this possibility. Even the current developments in Syria cannot under any circumstances be separated from the possibility that war will erupt [in the region]. Indeed, lately it has seemed clear that the inflamed situation in Syria is part of this anticipated war, or that war that the West and Israel insist on is imminent. By this, of course, we refer to the war on Iran.
Iran, which rejects out of hand that Israel should wage any attack against her, is readying itself for this war. It has seemingly accepted the probability that such a war will occur and is, indeed, all but inevitable. For preparations for war continue marching on, even if the party threatening that war appears reluctant to carry it out. And indeed, hesitation over whether or not to go to war has gone on longer than in any previous war. Israel has issued threats of war continuously, while the United States — which supports Israel as an indispensable military power in confronting Iran — has grown increasingly certain with each passing week and month of the past two years that an attack on Iran is fraught with grave danger both for Israel and for US interests in the region.
The circumstances in the Middle East make it clear that the US — the actor most convinced of the futility of any attack on Iran — is doing everything within its ability to ignite the flames of civil war in Syria. The US wishes to make it clear that Egypt cannot remain aloof from the possibility of an Israeli war against Iran. Egypt will, at the least, be required not to demonstrate any interest in what should befall Iran at Israeli hands. Despite this, the evidence from the last several weeks indicates that the US is to some degree prepared to accept a rapprochement between President Morsi’s government, but only within limits set by Washington. And perhaps this change in the US’ position vis-a-vis Egyptian-Iranian relations is connected to Washington’s attempts to convince Israel that it does not command sufficient anti-Iranian political support to wage such a war.