Iran, Qatar intervened to obstruct forming Iraq’s largest political bloc: Sources
Iraqi sources attributed the failure of the meeting of the political blocs’ leaders, in Babylon Hotel Sunday evening, to the interventions of Iran and Qatar, where both countries contacted and exerted pressures on the Kurds and Sunni Arabs to boycott the meeting.
According to the sources, the Iranian role is now exposed to prevent the formation of a larger bloc led by the Sadrist movement, which excluded the leaders of the Popular Mobilization units which is close to Iran, and most importantly it excluded former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who also has close relations with Tehran.
However, a hidden role played by Qatar in the same direction was revealed in past days.
On Sunday, the Babylon Hotel outside the Green Zone in Baghdad hosted a meeting to announce the largest parliamentary bloc of more than 200 seats.
The list of invited guests included: Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, leader of al-Nasr bloc, which has 42 seats, Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr, heading Sairoon block, which has 54 seats, Ammar al-Hakim, leader of al-Hikma movement, with 20 seats, Iyad Allawi and Saleh al-Mutlaq leaders of the national bloc with 25 seats, the leaders of the Sunni National Bloc, which has 35 seats and representatives of the two main Kurdish parties who together have about 40 seats.
The absentees in this meeting were representatives of the Kurds and the Sunni National Axis Alliance, which led to the failure to form a parliamentary bloc that has the majority to form a government.
According to sources in Baghdad, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani met with Kurdish leaders, which resulted in their absence from the meeting.
Qatari officials also had secretly contacted Sunni Khamis al-Khanjar- heading al-Qarar Alliance- a close associate of Qatar and Iran, who in turn pressured leaders of the Sunni National Axis Alliance to boycott the Babylon Hotel meeting