Egypt's new government continues reaching out to Iran and Hamas while distancing itself from Israel and the United States. In a sharp break with the policies of ousted President Hosni Mubarak (who blockaded Gaza to cut off the flow of arms to terror groups there) Foreign Minister Nabil Al-Araby has called the blockade "shameful."
Since Mubarak's ouster in February, Egypt played a leadership role in brokering a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and its arch-rival Fatah. Israeli officials express concern that Cairo's approach will result in a more well-armed terror network on their southern border.
Washington and Jerusalem are also troubled by Egypt's efforts to normalize relations with Iran. They broke diplomatic ties at the time of the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Mubarak began talks with Tehran, but those went nowhere due to Egyptian concerns over Iran's nuclear program and support for terrorism.
Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa - currently favored to win Egypt's upcoming presidential election - continues to question Cairo's ties with Israel and the United States while advocating a softer approach towards Hamas and Tehran.
"Iran is not the natural enemy of the Arabs, and it shouldn't be," Moussa told the Washington Post. "We have a lot to gain by peaceful relations - or less tense relations - with Iran." Moussa questioned whether Hamas was a terrorist organization, saying such concerns are limited "to a minority of countries."
Moussa criticized Mubarak over the Gaza blockade, saying Egypt should have insisted on ending "the siege that caused a lot of suffering to the people of Gaza."
Asked about U.S. concerns over Tehran's nuclear program, Moussa said Israel's atomic weapons are a greater worry: "The nuclear issue in the Middle East means Israel and then Iran."
Moussa was evasive when asked would keep the peace treaty with Israel, saying the question of whether to continue with it depended "also on the other side."