Will Egypt join Iraq in the ‘Axis of Resistance’?

Al Monitor| Mustafa Saadoun: As Egypt and Saudi Arabia remain at odds, Iraq and Iran are making their moves to befriend the Land of the Nile and perhaps shepherd Egypt into the Axis of Resistance.

Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim al-Jaafari said recently that “Egypt is the Arabs’ greatest,” referring to the country’s people, history and culture.

Habib al-Sadr, in a Dec. 28 speech as he assumed his position as the new Iraqi ambassador to Egypt, called Egypt “the backbone of the Arab world.” He said the countries share similar pressures, and risks from armed groups, and from those commonalities arose “the necessity of cooperation between the two countries.”

When Sadr visited Cairo on Jan. 16, he said Iraq is keen to proceed with its agreement to export oil to Egypt, which the Saudis stopped supplying. Iraq will provide Egypt with 1 million barrels of Basra light oil each month.

Iraqi National Alliance parliamentarian Sadiq al-Mahna recently told Al-Monitor Iraq’s influence is growing. “In response to the question about whether Iraq will manage to include Egypt in the Axis of Resistance led by Iran, I would like to say that Iraq will manage to become a key player in settling affairs in its regional surroundings and in tipping the balance of power and opening international horizons to end the terrorist phase.”

Also on the topic of the axis, Fatima al-Zarkani, another National Alliance parliament member, told Al-Monitor, “It is likely that Egypt would join an alliance with Iraq, Iran and Syria to fight terrorism and to stop extremist thought from [harming] the region.”

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