Why The Sinai Attack Harmed Iran and Why Morsi Responded

The massacre of the Egyptian soldiers by terrorists trying to harm Israelis likely resulted in several things that harmed Iranian interests and severely harmed the interests of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  1. It shifted Egypt’s military and intelligence services more strongly against Iran, but also against the Muslim Brotherhood allied Hamas. These were Iranian supplied terrorists who murdered Egyptian soldiers during a Ramadan break the fast meal!
  2. The same attack created a massive shift in Egyptian military policy toward Gaza. Hundreds of smuggling tunnels in and out of Gaza were in process of being destroyed before Egyptian President Morsi acted to oust the Egyptian Military leadership today. The hope that Egypt’s military would be pro-Hamas or would work with the Muslim Brotherhood leadership was all but shattered. Hamas along with militant groups in Gaza allied with Iran and with them the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt would have been weakened.
  3. Egyptian cooperation with Israeli military and intelligence agencies would have improved, greatly weakening the Brotherhood. Israel warned Egypt. Egypt ignored the warning. Egypt’s military would have been much more likely to listen and act the next time.
  4. Egypt’s military would have been much more concerned about the smuggling of weapons through its territory generally including via the Suez Canal and have been much more cooperative with Israel in preventing weaponry from reaching Iran’s proxies in Gaza, but also its friends on the northern coast, Syria and Hizballah.

Thus, it was not only the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, friends of Hamas, that had to deal with negative consequences from this attack. Taken in conjunction with events in Syria, Iran faces the possibility of suddenly having far less access and fewer and weaker allies to its west. The situation in Egypt had been a major blow without the action taken by President Morsi.

It is therefore not surprising that a high level delegation from Iran arrived in Cairo on Wednesday on the heels of last Sunday’s attack. Iran had a lot on the line. In addition to inviting President Morsi to attend the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran, it is reasonable to conclude that the visit to Cairo by Iran’s Vice President Hamid Baqaii and Director-General of the Iranian Presidential Office for International Affairs Mohammad Reza Forqani did more than simply deliver a hand-signed invitation. Today’s developments, the ouster of the leadership of the Egyptian Military could well have been based on the advice and council of Morsi’s Iranian friends.

About the Author
Rabbi David Kaufman is the Rabbi of Temple B'nai Jeshurun in Des Moines, Iowa, a congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. He is also the President and Co-Founder of We Are For Israel, the home of "Centrist Advocates for Realistic Peace" and created the news site about the crisis in the Nuba Mountains, www.helpnuba.net. Rabbi Kaufman maintains an informational blog on which he posts sermons and other materials related to Jewish practice and belief at www.rabbikaufman.blogspot.com