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Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

The Muslim Brotherhood and Their Relationship with Iran


For years, Iran's regime has dreamt of seeing the Muslim Brotherhood rise in Egypt as part of a plan to Islamize the Middle East. The vision for Iran was to take the leadership role jockeying Saudi Arabia over who would assume the leadership of the Muslim world. As the Muslim Brotherhood has always been opposed to the Saudi Kingdom, it was taken for granted that an Egypt governed by the Muslim Brotherhood would be the natural ally of Iran.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the former Egyptian President Morsi, were supposed to symbolize the triumph of radical Islam. The leadership in Tehran apparently also felt that it had to "profit from its political, propaganda and even financial investment" in ensuring Morsi's election. Khamenei took care to woo the newly-elected Morsi to bring Egypt to Iran's side. He even started speaking about an "Islamic Awakening" in Egypt, and hinting that what was happening in Egypt was similar to Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. The Iranian Ministry for Culture and Islamic Guidance decreed that the media should no longer use the phrase "Arab Spring," but "Islamic Awakening."

The Iranian regime now has long-term plans, and the Muslim Brotherhood needs the help of Iran to fight their common enemy: Egypt's President Al-Sisi. Should they succeed this time, Iran will no doubt demand that the Muslim Brotherhood publicly recognize Iran as the leader of the Muslim world.

The beginning of the MB relationship and the Iranian Shia regime began with the meeting of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan El Banna with the leader of the Iranian Revolution Ayatollah Rouhallah Khomeini in cairo in 1945 where they agreed on an a mutual understanding between Sunni and Shias. The meeting was followed by El Banna meeting with the Shia reference the Grand Ayatollah Kashani in the Haj pilgrim in 1948.

It was then to be clear that the leaders of the MB and Iranian Islamic Movement of Fedayeen Islam , had close ties with each other. The Fedayeen Islam believed in creating an Islamic state that is based on the ideology of “Welayit El Faqih” and adopted a militant approach with assassination attempts being conducted to reach their political gains and controls. The same approach used by the MB in the beginning of their time and still in their reference doctrines, like the killing of el Noqrashi pasha in 1948 the second Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Egypt at his time and attempting to assassinate the former Egyptian President Abdel Nasser in the early 50s.

In support to their relationship when in exile in Paris  Khomeini with Mahdi Akef the Supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood when the later was the leader of the MB international Movement, Khomeini asked Akef to propagate for the Iranian Islamic revolution and to supporting it. Khomeini in addition translated two main books for Sayed Qutb the MB thinker, which where “The future of this Religion” + “Islam and the civilization solution”.

When Khomeini died in 1989, Hamed Abo El Nasr the supreme leader for the MB mourned his death and praised him with the best of words. During the time of Khamenei the theories of Sayed Qutb was taught in the schools of the IRCG who is admired by Iranian leaders like Ahmedi Nijad and Ayatullah Mesbah Yazdi one of the main influencial of nijad. Mehdi Akef was one of the main supporters for Iran’s nuclear program.


Mohammed Salama is National Political & Security Advisor at Geopolicity Consultancy, Research Analyst – Egypt & MENA Region in the International Affairs Division at the Center of International Relations and member of the Geopolitical Consultancy-Wikistrat.

Comments in Chronological order (2 total comments)

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Fri, January 30, 2015 04:44 PM (about 81674 hours ago)
Thank you for the scholarship. The sunni/shia rivalry, and the national interplay depicted, are largely irrelevant to either Iran or Egypt becoming a
Fri, January 30, 2015 04:46 PM (about 81674 hours ago)
continued -- a productive contributor in and to a global civilization
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