The Arabs’ Forlorn Envy of Iranians
Tehran Bureau / RAMI G. KHOURI
24-Jun-2009 (5 comments)
Most Arab regimes do not like Iran or even fear it, because of its capacity to inspire revolutionary Islamism or at least mildly insurrectionary movements within Arab countries. A few Arab leaders even speak of Iran’s predatory or hegemonic ambitions in the Gulf region, Lebanon, Iraq and other lands. Only isolated pockets of power in the Arab world like or support the Iranian regime, including Syria, Hizbullah, Hamas and some other Islamist or nationalist forces. Yet even the few isolated exceptions like Hamas and Hizbullah that have effectively carved out small domains of their own sovereignty are in an uncomfortable zone regarding events in Iran.

Arab public opinion, for its part, views Iran with much more nuance. Many Arabs cheered the Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah 30 years ago, and continue to enjoy Iran’s defiance of the United States, Israel, UN sanctions and conservative Arab leaderships. Others in the Arab world see the Iranian Islamic revolution as a nasty export commodity that only spells trouble for Arab societies. Places like Lebanon and Palestine, especially, are offered the unattractive option of perpetual warfare with Israel, which entails the regular destruction of swaths of their society.

The irony today is that the Iranian regime and its policies are viewed very differently throughout the Arab world; but removing or reconfiguring the Islamic regime through street demonstrations or even through democratic elections seems problemati... >>>


Be inspired not jealous!

by IRANdokht on

Arab regimes and leaders have worked themselves into a lose-lose situation whereby they would be unhappy if the Iranian regime stayed in power, and unhappy if it were removed through popular challenge. The same awkwardness defines the perspectives of Arab citizens. Most Arabs do not want to live in an Iranian-style political system that blends theocracy with autocracy; but many were pleased to see the pro-American Shah overthrown by Quran-carrying demonstrators. They would also be unhappy to see the Iranian regime overthrown because they enjoy its defiance of the United States, Israel and the UN in particular, along with its development of a nuclear capability.




by Isreal Lover (not verified) on

Islam is a religion in arabic which is a language Iranians don't even speak. Its a useless book to us. One must fight for the right to say maybe there is no god and anyone who does not allow you to not believe in god in any culture or any country should be looked at with great suspicion.
If there is no god how does he have a representative on earth.
I see the day when khamenei is executed and ahmadinejad rots in prison where he really belongs, this day is on its way. Iranians are way too smart and proud for these uneducated hooligans who pretend some sort of god is on their side. A god who only they see or really pretend to see. A god that has not once endorsed them.


IRANdokht Jan

by capt_ayhab on

Wonderful article, and lets hope those Arabs learn thing or two from our brave women.

Thanks dear

-YT for NEDA Daughter of IRAN

Maryam Hojjat


by Maryam Hojjat on

Want IRAN to assimilate to their ownculturesfor past 1400 years.  They are enemy of IRAN & Iranians. I hate arab culture & Quranic docterine which have influenced our culture. We must protect our history & culture from this backward culture.

Payandeh IRAN & IRANIANs

Down with IRI


Very nice article!

by Jaleho on

Leave it to Rami Khouri to consistantly  come up with the best interpretation of events as seen by the Arabs!

BTW, this analysis is very much in line with the vote counts of Iranians living in Muslim countries, and the way their local coverage of news and the way Iran is viewd in those respective countries is portrayed among people in the street. Good analysis, thanks.