Former CIA Director James Woolsey says institutions and people will try to undermine the chance for freedom in a post-Hosni Mubarak Egypt, and he fears Iran will try and seize the opportunity to promote an Islamic fundamentalist state.
“Well, your reporter just quoted an Egyptian there on the street as saying Egypt now has a chance for freedom and democracy. And I
think that is exactly the right way to phrase it, because there will be institutions and people trying to undermine that chance,” Woolsey told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday. “I think first among them will be Iran, and Iran working with the Muslim Brotherhood, the way they work with Hamas in Gaza.
“We all have to do everything we possibly can to work with the forces of stability and change, in a democratic and law-abiding direction in Egypt, to help them economically, help them politically, and see to it that this does not become an Islamist operation – the way Iran has, and Gaza has, and, I'm afraid, Lebanon may be on the way to being," he said.
Cooper noted immediate elections could thwart Egypt’s possibilities for freedom and democracy, because there really aren't many organized opposition forces, other than the Muslim Brotherhood.
“Right, and that's what happened in Gaza,” Woolsey said. “Hamas called for immediate elections, and we got one vote, one man – and it's now a theocratic dictatorship.
“We need to be on the side of the rule of law, and a quick evolution toward democracy, but not necessarily in favor of really quick votes,” he said. “We do not want more Gazas, with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood organization running” the country.
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