In state-owned Al-Ahram, Makram Mohamed Ahmed wrote a piece titled “Why did Tehran turn against Al-Abadi?” in which he argued that Iran was trying to mobilise forces in Iraq to face the local popularity of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi ahead of the upcoming elections. According to Ahmed, Iran is backing former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki and Hadi Al-Amiri, but do not realise that Al-Abadi and the Iraqis are trying to put an end to sectarian divisions in the country. Ahmed further said the most dangerous element of the elections is candidates’ assassination by unknown perpetrators that could probably belong to parties implementing foreign agendas.
Shereen Shams El-Din seconded the idea of foreign interference in Iraqi elections, especially that a new government is to be formed, in her op-ed for the private Al-Shourouk newspaper, where she argued that pro-Iran Shiite groups were losing support amid hopes for complete reform of the political scene.
On Iran, Al-Ahram’s Amr Abdul Samea wrote that Iran is the biggest threat to the region’s stability and has been interfering in Arab countries’ affairs, with its model of the revolution ready to be exported elsewhere and that this is the reason for which Iran should be destroyed.
In the privately-owned Al-Watan newspaper, Hassan Abou Taleb looked at tensions in the Middle East, highlighting conflicts between Israel and Iran and the danger of miscalculations by either side. Abou Taleb argued that Israel insists on launching a war on Iran and that the latter is refraining from responding despite its wish to avenge its nationals allegedly killed by Israel in Syria. The writer pointed out that Israel would also seek to escalate against Iran, especially amid Lebanese elections’ potential to foster different policies towards the Syrian war.
But Emad El-Din Adeeb, in Al-Watan, said he sees that the divisions witnessed in the Lebanese elections are a result of the US-Iranian conflict on Lebanese soil
On a different note, Sheif Abdeen’s op-ed in Al-Ahram focused Egyptians’ concerns with an expected wave of energy price increases amid the country’s economic reform policies, saying people are wondering if some steps could be postponed since the policies have been successful so far. Abdeen compared arguments defending the series of painful decisions to the reform model in Morocco, saying the latter managed to implement a slow reform programme aimed at achieving stability and lifting the burden off the poor, succeeding in becoming Africa’s most attractive country for foreign investment.