The coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected president has plunged the Arab world’s most-populous country into a new spiral of violence and uncertainty. It has also set back hopes that a nation that once led the Middle East in matters of war and peace could reassume a leadership role.
Mohammed Morsi’s international debut began auspiciously in August 2012 when he attended a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran to pass the presidency of the NAM to the Islamic Republic. Morsi delivered a nuanced speech that criticized the United States and Israel for failing to resolve the Palestinian issue and accused Washington of monopolizing power at the UN Security Council. But Morsi also showed courage before his Iranian hosts by decrying the brutality of the Syrian regime Iran has backed and questioning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s continued legitimacy to rule.