With the nearing of a formation of an Iraqi government, and after the largest bloc in the parliament has already been formed, the options become clearer and more decisive for Iraqi politicians, particularly for Shiite parties.
Iran looks at Iraq as an annex, a financial support, a reservoir of human resources and a stick it uses to disturb its neighbors. All this was embodied in the dangerous report, which Reuters published, about Iran transferring missiles to Iraq and training its gangs and militias on how to master the game of Iranian missiles, like it did in Yemen and Lebanon via its tools the Houthis and Hezbollah.
America today is not Barack Obama’s America, it’s Donald Trump’s America and the America of the insightful hawk, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is aware of the Iranian threatMashari Althaydi
The US’s role
The difference between Yemen and Lebanon on one hand and Iraq on another is that the Americans have the upper hand in Iraq since they’re the ones who caused the emergence of an “Iraq post-Saddam Hussein”. It also caused the arrival of the likes of Nouri al-Maliki, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Haider al-Abadi, Hadi Al-Amiri, Al-Muhandis, Hussain al-Shahristani, Falih Alfayyadh, Salim al-Jabouri, Saleh al-Mutlaq and Osama al-Nujaifi to government, parliamentary and state positions.
OPINION: ISIS and the sectarian wars in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon
America today is not Barack Obama’s America, it’s Donald Trump’s America and the America of the insightful hawk, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is aware of the Iranian threat.
One of the manifestations of this American “competition” of Iranian activity in Iraq is the contacts made by Pompeo with Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and others to guarantee forming the largest parliamentary bloc against the alliance of Iran’s group, which consists of Maliki and Amiri. Pompeo also asserted his support to forming a “moderate nationalist” government for all of the Iraqi people.
In a phone call with Abadi, Pompeo emphasized “the importance of safeguarding Iraq’s sovereignty during this critical time.”
ALSO READ: Time is running out for Iran and its interests in Yemen
Commenting on Reuters’ report about Iran’s transfer of ballistic missiles to Iraq, Pompeo said on Twitter: “If true, this would be a gross violation of Iraqi sovereignty and of UNSCR 2231. Baghdad should determine what happens in Iraq, not Tehran.”
The report is very dangerous. Three Iranian officials, two sources in the Iraqi intelligence and two sources in western intelligence said Iran transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq during the past few months. Five officials said Iran is helping these groups to begin manufacturing missiles.
The Iraqi foreign ministry commented on the Reuters report and voiced its surprise saying the latter “does not have tangible evidence.” This is a “cold” and indecisive denial, and it’s actually well-known that the ministry which is managed by Ibrahim al-Jaafari is not expected to be decisive or firm or put on a face of anger in support of Iraq’s sovereignty against Iranian tampering.
Iraq is at a crossroads today. It will either be engulfed by Khomeini’s Iran or win for itself.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi @MAlthaydy presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “Views on the News” daily show, “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & the Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.