Morning Wrap: ‘Tehran on the Nile’

If there’s one analysis of the ongoing political situation in Egypt you should read today, it’s David Gardner’s piece in the Financial Times. He appears to buy the theory that there was a mutually beneficial deal between Mohammed Morsi and the younger officers that were appointed to the top of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, where the president gains politically from being seen as “leeching” power from the military and the commanders preserve their interests. He poses the question: “But is Cairo now set to become a Tehran on the Nile, as some US commentators are warning?”

The answer, he says, is that SCAF will still use their powers to prevent “a sharia-based, Islamist state in Egypt”, even while “the Brothers are expected to do well when new parliamentary elections are held, and the constitution, still to be drawn up, will reflect this make-up”.

The Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a patient organisation. Having waited more than 80 years, it will doubtless see no need to rush things now. 

No doubt, they are a patient organisation. But everyone will be watching closely when he travels to Iran later this month. This is a historic visit and will give a signal of where foreign policy is going in Egypt, a key factor for businesses operating here because it will have ramifications on foreign trade agreements.

Things are looking rosy in Saudi Arabia, which overtook Russia as the top producer of oil during June.

Libya took a big step back from a path to stability yesterday with three car bombings on one of Tripoli’s main thoroughfares, Omar Mukhtar Street, killing two people. The same street houses many hotels – including the businessman hang-out Thobacts – and connects directly to Liberation Square. I’m sure that many business delegations will think twice about any imminent visits. The government said it had arrested 32 Qaddafi loyalists.

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