Iran continued defiance of Western pressure and its assertiveness are not out of mere religious fervor. The BBC's John Simpson's article: Iran's growing regional influence explains the motives in nationalist and anti-Imperialist. Similarly, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah has a growing popularity in non-Shia countries, such as Egypt, because of his militia's being able to hold off Israel in the recent war in Lebanon.This led to humorous things, such as the most expensive variety of dried dates being dubbed Nasrallah by fruit sellers in Cairo. The worst kinds are dubbed Olmert and Bush.In what seems to be a copycat move, Gamal Mubarak, son of Egypt's long time president, and rumored heir to the presidency, announced that Egypt would resume nuclear energy programs. This comes at the same time as Gamal Mubarak lashing out against US and Israeli policy in the region. Meanwhile, there are reports that Saudi Arabia has held secret talks with Ehud Olmert, which the Saudis denied. Egypt's regional influence was high during the reign of Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1960s. It has since declined to almost nothing. To me, the actions of the Saudi and Egyptian governments are just a reaction to the growing regional influence, and more importantly, the mindshare that Iran/Hezbollah has gained from ordinary folk in the street.