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.