JERUSALEM -- Even at this early stage, it is apparent that the agreement has empowered Iran regionally. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite regime lavished praise on the agreement, rightly recognizing that enhanced international legitimacy and financial resources will enable Shia Iran to provide greater backing. Assad's other major regional ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah (which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization), also supports the deal. Vladimir Putin's Russia is also happy to have received U.S. assistance, however indirectly, in strengthening Assad's hold on power.
Turkey is a radically different exemplar from Egypt. It says political differences can be mediated. Political ambitions can be tempered by the popular vote, while seeing through major structural changes to society and the economy, the curtailing of the deep state, and the advancement of minority rights. In a region convulsed, and fractured, by conflict, that is a powerful message.
As story after story emerges about the potential game changing 2015 election in Turkey, one party is virtually being ignored. But it has a good chance of playing the spoiler for the ambitions of the ruling AKP and its autocratic President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And it's a party once led by a former Erdogan all
To continue with the logic of the Saudi argument, Sisi's future depends on proving that he can stabilize Egypt. All the evidence is to the contrary. As the Egyptian political scientist Emad Shahin argues in his recent paper, Sisi's rule is becoming increasingly personalized in the absence of an elected parliament.
There is no Hizmet Movement plan to take over Ankara, no desire to rule the religious roost. In fact, in my meeting with Islamic scholar and preacher Fethullah Gulen, America was lauded for its religious freedoms. That was the model offered up. Not a Muslim state but a state where all religions are supported in their practice. Turkish President Erdogan should take note.