With new Egypt, Israel worries about Iran

By Adam Gonn
0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, February 22, 2011
Adjust font size:

When former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, Israel found itself in an embarrassed situation.

On one hand, it has lost, as analysts said, one of its strongest regional "allies." On the other hand, the popular protests, that stated in Tunisia and then spread to Egypt, show that the people in the Middle East have chosen to change the regional order.

Israeli officials have repeatedly voiced their concerns over the possible expansion of Tehran's influence in the region. Their worries, however, may be intensified as Iran is planning to send two warships through the Suez Canal.

Analysts that spoke to Xinhua on Monday said that with the fall of Mubarak, Israel will have to get used to a new reality with a stronger and more influential Iran, adding that the Iranian regime will not go the same way that Mubarak chose.

A new time

Meir Javedanfar, an analyst specializing in Israeli-Iranian issues, told Xinhua that, in the short term, Israel should not put too much faith on a regime change in Iran.

"However, in the medium to long term, if the current disturbances in Iran continue, they will weaken the regimes domestically. That could have an impact on its negotiation position over the nuclear issue and its regional policies," he noted.

Dr. Soli Shahver, head of the Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies at the University of Haifa, said that the Iranian government should not be compared to other governments in the region.

In his opinion, the Iranian government is much more dedicated to its survival as it is Shiite-led whereas most of the other Arab countries in the region are Sunni-dominated. "Where would they go? They are fighting with their backs against the wall," Shahver told Xinhua.

Regarding the possible passing of Iranian warship through the Suez Canal, Javedanfar referred it as "a sign of the times," saying that "the region is changing and realignments are going to shift."

"We are looking at a new map the Middle East. There has been an earthquake recently and we are still trying to find out where the new fault lines are," Javedanfar said.

"From what we can see now, Israel's position is not going to be the same as before. It has lost one ally and in the future we are more likely to face an emboldened Iran," he added.

1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from China.org.cnMobileRSSNewsletter