Iran is moving in on the Arab revolt now in its third month. Its agents are whipping together the most radical domestic Muslim elements, Sunni and Shiite alike, as a vehicle for importing its own influence into the heart of the turbulent capitals.
This trend is particularly conspicuous and destructive in Egypt, the most populous of Arab nations. Fickle international attention, focused obsessively on the upheaval in Egypt until Hosni Mubarak's exit, has switched just as fixedly to the Libyan contest. Egypt has been left to sink quietly and inconspicuously into anarchy, its bright revolution forgotten, as Muslim fundamentalist men beat up and abuse women demonstrating for a fair deal in Tahrir Square, only last month the symbol of freedom and hope, burn Christian Coptic churches and rape Christian women.
In Egypt, regression has taken the place of revolution, a descending process well-oiled by a Tehran awash with petrodollars.
Today, post-Mubarak Egypt looks like this:
1. No soldiers, police or Ministry of Interior security personnel are anywhere to be seen for maintaining law and order on the streets. They fear lynching either at the hands of Muslim Brotherhood rowdies or pro-democracy gangs.
Iranian funds spent on persecuting Christian Copts
2. Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood for the first time managed to organize a "militia" made up of thugs. Its first operation was the storming of the Mabahis-El Dawla Mabahis Namn (Security Police) headquarters in Alexandria, Cairo and the Sixth of October, a town west of the capital. This laid bare the secret files hitherto accessible only to the former Intelligence Minister Gen. Omar Suleiman and transferred his prime asset to the Muslim Brotherhood.
3. Egypt's military rulers did not dare order the army to drive the Muslim militiamen out of the Mahabis buildings for fear they would flout its orders. For the same reason, the army is kept off city streets.
4. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence sources report that the Brotherhood's overt and covert operations are amply funded by Tehran. Millions of dollars reach its coffers through the Palestinian Hamas smuggling networks, expanded since the Egyptian uprising from the Gaza Strip up to the Suez Canal, the canal cities and West Cairo.
5. Some of the Iranian funds were spent this month for the systematic persecution of Egypt's ancient Copt community. Coptic men walking the streets have been attacked, their churches, institutions, stores and homes torched, even in the mixed Coptic-Muslim neighborhoods where the communities have traditionally co-existed.
Big Coptic demonstrations in protest turned into violent clashes with their tormentors. So far, 10 Copts have been killed by radical Muslims.
Women report that the level of sexual harassment by Muslim men has never been so high.
Tehran sets up Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood broadcasting center
The army has not been brought in to quell any of these outbreaks or stopped Iran-backed extremists from dragging Egypt into its first sectarian war.
6. Some of Iran's investment in Egyptian disorders has been spent on establishing an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood media network including daily and weekly publications and a broadcasting center powered by satellite for disseminating its message across the entire Arab world.
Last week, a secret conference took place in Sudan of leaders of all the Brotherhood chapters to discuss ways of bringing the "Arab revolt" to every Arab country. It was lavishly bankrolled by Iranian intelligence, whose officers used the occasion for meetings with local Muslim leaders.
Among those present were Brotherhood branch leaders from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Hamas-Gaza and Hamas-Damascus, led by Khaled Meshaal, Syria, Great Britain and the Tunisian Dawah.
None of the delegations were prevented from setting out for the conference by any Arab government, or even by Israel, although its main theme was a Muslim Brotherhood drive to seize control of the Arab revolt.