A Dramatic Change of Iran’s Image in the Arab World
Last week, Umayya Center for Strategic Studies held a workshop in the Egyptian capital Cairo, entitled “the Iranian Agenda in the Arab World”. Sixteen researchers, academics and journalists from several Arab countries and of many different orientations (Islamic, seculars, liberals, pan Arab, Sunni, Shiite and even people from the al-Ahwaz province in Iran) were invited as speakers.
The workshop which was widely covered by the media and broadcast live on many channels including (Misir25) from Egypt, (Al-Rafidain) from Iraq and (Aljazeera Mubasher) from Qatar, focused on carefully examining Iran’s agenda in the Arab world, the dangers of Iranian policies in the region especially amid the Syrian revolution and the Mullah regime’s and its allies’ bloody involvement in it.
Participants discussed the pillars of the Iranian agenda in the region, the domestic factors of this agenda, “regionalism” in Tehran’s foreign policy, Iran and the Arab revolutions.
It was evident from the participant’s papers that Iran’s alleged legacy in the Arab world has entirely vanished. Previously, it was very hard for anyone to criticize Iran; the vast majority of public opinion in the Arab world was sympathetic of Iran, perceiving it as an Islamic country supposedly defying the “great Satan” (United States) and Israel. The workshop reflected a dramatic change in this perception of Iran in the Arab world.