Mojtaba Amani said protest demonstrations and people’s dissention and linking them to individuals like Mohamed Ali and considering him the leader of the protesters are contrary to the realities in Egypt. “Since the fall of Mr. Morsi and the killing of his supporters in Cairo streets, Egypt has entered a round of violence.
He added: Although the use of violence by the state in Egypt as of early 2014 caused protest rallies diminish but at the same time, given the spirit of revenge that is rampant in Egyptian society, it had been anticipated that the anger of those whose relatives or comrades had been killed in the streets of Cairo, or the tens of thousands who were arrested following the fall of Morsi and are now in Egyptian prisons, have created conditions for those opposed to Morsi to pour into the streets under any pretext and despite the intervention of the security forces follow the same demands.
The former diplomat added: “In the present circumstances, Mr. Mohamed Ali used these grounds. He has only managed to launch this wave in Egyptian society so that other people, much bigger than Mohamed Ali himself, will try to ride the wave and pursue their goals.
He said there are speculations about those who want to ride the waves: “One should not expect that in the 30-year period of Mubarak’s rule in Egypt real parties would be formed. What we see from the multitude of parties in the late Mubarak era were a series of ceremonial parties. But those parties, societies and groups that were able to consolidate themselves during the Egyptian revolution, faced narrow-mindedness and harsh treatment by the Sisi government after Morsi. And they basically had no political involvement with the approach that the ousting of Morsi was illegal and he was the legal president of the country.
Amani also said: “Of course there are parties that were also called opposition during Mubarak’s time, but their power and influence were far less than the power and influence of Islamists and proponents of Islamic law. What is now the driving force behind the demonstrations in Egypt and can shape a current are the Brotherhood supporters, who have also come to the field, but the sharp edge of the Egyptian military and security forces and the police are directed against them anyway.
The analyst said: “At present, the media affiliated with the Egyptian government blame the Muslim Brotherhood for the protests and are trying to speak to their opponents with this literature.”
Amani added: “Some people refer to the internal rivalries in the Deep State whose main pillars are the army, security forces and the police, and note that some of the currents within this Deep State are opposed to Sisi and are seeking to oust him.” Amani added the case of Mohamed Ali is a game on this subject.
“The second assumption is that Mr. Mohamed Ali has entered the field independently but he certainly does not have the power to lead and expand this stream. So the mainstream opposition to Mr. Sisi, namely the Brotherhood and the Islamists will use this opportunity and will try to turn the demonstrations into passionate ones till the fall of Mr. Sisi.
The former head of the Iranian Interest Section in Cairo emphasized: “Given these speculations, it must be acknowledged that Mr. Mohamed Ali’s initiative showed that he could bring sections of the Egyptian society into the scene and shout slogans directly against Mr. Sisi. This was a red line the government of Mr. Sisi had been able to control since 2014 until these demonstrations so that such protests would not be held against Mr. Sisi. Police and security forces are now back on the streets like 2013 closing some of the streets and trying to deal with the crowd, mostly teenagers and young people.”
He said that the protests were described as protests of opposition to Mr. Sisi’s palace building. There are strong criticisms about palace building in spite of the poor living conditions of the people. In the meantime, the people believe they have not seen the authority and greatness they expected Sisi to display from Egypt in the foreign and regional policy arena. Sisi has handed over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia in a show of support for their policies, and as a result, these actions have caused Egypt to lose its image in the region.
Amani said that during this time many demonstrators have been detained and the opposition put the number at 2,000, adding that what happened in the last two weeks shows the discontent in Egypt, whether in retaliation for the killing of Morsi’s supporters, or the living conditions or foreign concessions granted by Mr. Sisi have made the situation very complicated, and the fire under the ashes may flare up any moment on different pretexts.
He also explained the positions and possible role of foreign powers in the unrest: Foreign actors in Egypt, including the Saudis and the United States, have expectations of Sisi that put him in a dangerous position. The issue of the islands and their handover to the Saudis was very humiliating for the Egyptian people.
Amani said that Egypt’s economic situation is such that it has to seek help from the Saudis and insist on receiving assistance from the US and this prepares the ground for foreign intervention. But at the same time history has shown the Americans and other powers seeking colonialism and exploitation would replace their beads whenever they find them ineffective or expensive to maintain.
The former diplomat added: “From the point of view of America which protects the security of the Zionist regime, neither the presence of a disorderly and chaotic Egypt is strategic nor a powerful Egypt with a strong government. So in this context, the Americans for their own interests are certainly trying to get Egypt so deep into its internal problems to pressure Sisi to give it more concessions; for example, Egypt’s refusal to support the Deal of the Century showed that the Egyptians had enough power or will to protect their interests. So they are trying to shake Sisi politically in order to have an undisputed obedient person who could give the Americans concessions and pursue their goals.
He said foreign powers would try to use this situation in their own interests, adding that the Saudis are also trying to take over the leadership of the Arab world from Egypt by undermining Egypt and reducing its power and thus promoting its position in the Arab League.