IRAN TRYING TO UNITE ISLAM
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived on Monday in Saudi Arabia ahead of an extraordinary summit in Mecca expected to focus on the Syria conflict, on which Tehran and Riyadh have taken opposing sides.[source : Ahmadinejad heads to Saudi summit, urges Muslim countries to show greater unity, Al Arabiya, http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/08/13/231986.html, 13/08/2012]
...“This meeting is a chance for our country’s viewpoint to be explained transparently and for efforts to be made towards the convergence and protection of the interests of Muslim nations,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
This visit to Saudi Arabia comes after Iran has been rebuilding ties with Egypt, much to the annoyance of Saudi Arabia.
[source : Tehran reaches out to Egypt’s Morsi, Voltaire Network, http://www.voltairenet.org/Tehran-reaches-out-to-Egypt-s, 06/08/2012]
Far from shying away in the face of the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood in North Africa, Iran has continued to reach out, in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, in the name of Islam. Knowing that relations between the Brothers and Saudi Arabia have not always been on an even keel, Tehran has multiplied its initiatives to prevent the new North African governments from joining the Saudi Fitna game of fueling conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. Egypt is the centerpiece of this diplomacy which, according to Ambassador Bhadrakumar, bears the promise of momentous change in the region.
...This is a development that holds the potential to shake up Middle Eastern politics — Iranian vice-president visiting Cairo. The two countries pulled down the shutters following the Iranian revolution in 1979 and a dark period continued right till the end of the Hosni Mubarak era. The revolution on Tahrir Square one year ago heralded a thaw, the first sign of which was the permission granted to an Iranian warship to cross the Suez Canal to visit Syria.
...Meanwhile, the military junta permitted a second Iranian warship to cross the Suez Canal, disregarding the stern rebuke by the United States and Israel (and the annoyance of Saudi Arabia). On its part, evidently with the acquiescence of Cairo, Tehran began inviting a series of Egyptian goodwill delegations from the civil society in a sustained effort to reach out to the various sections — especially the Islamist forces — of Egyptian society.
To be sure, a critical mass of opinion began accruing in Egypt, including within the Muslim Brotherhood, regarding the restoration of normal ties with Iran.
Enter Saudi Arabia!
Taking advantage of the economic crisis in Egypt, Riyadh offered economic assistance, but with strings attached. The bottom line for the Saudis is that Egypt shouldn’t dilute Riyadh’s regional campaign to “isolate” Iran. The main worry for the Saudis is that if Egypt, the biggest and most powerful Sunni Arab country, mends fences with Iran, the entire geopolitical thesis built around a contrived Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian schism which the US-Israeli-Saudi axis has been expounding as the centre-piece of the Arab Spring, would flounder.
Iran also held a conference last weekend of the Non Aligned Movement at which representatives of approximately 50% of the world population discussed alternatives to the warmongering on Syria by the USA, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.