The Arabs’ Forlorn Envy of Iranians – Tehran Bureau

The Arabs’ Forlorn Envy of Iranians – Tehran Bureau
Rami Khouri takes the words out of my mouth - I'll have my own stuff to add on this topic a little later.

I started writing this column Sunday in Amman, Jordan, and finished writing it Tuesday in Beirut, Lebanon — a short journey that captured how the dynamic events in Iran are playing out in very different ways in a largely passive and vulnerable Arab world. Jordan and Lebanon capture the two extremes of the Arab world, including pro-American and pro-Iranian sentiments, Islamists, monarchists, and an assortment of tribal, Arab nationalist, state-centered and democratic values.

All of them, without exception, react to events in Iran with fascination, confusion, and concern, reflecting self-inflicted political incoherence and mediocrity that are hallmarks of the modern Arab world. Broadly speaking, the Arab world has maneuvered itself into a lose-lose situation vis-à-vis developments in Iran, despite different views of the Islamic Republic.


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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.