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By Barry Rubin
Iran is a threat to Egypt in four ways: Persian versus Arab; Shia versus Sunni; Islamist versus nationalist; and Iran versus Egypt on a state-to-state level of competition. One might well think of a hostile Gaza Strip in relation to Egypt as parallel to what a Communist Cuba has been to the United States.
With Egypt approaching its first "normal" transition of leadership in forty years the government seems to be all the more nervous about such things.
So what can Egypt do? It doesn’t want to rule Gaza, as it did between 1948 and 1967. Why ingest such a headache, to mix metaphors. And Egypt’s obvious though not explicit support for Israel’s 2008-2009 retaliation against Hamas’s war brought it criticism. Egypt has also tried and failed to play mediator between Hamas and the PA. Cairo also knows it cannot depend on the United States (who can do so nowadays?)