Iraqis paid close attention to the US presidential race, especially to the candidates’ positions on their country. Many Iraqis welcomed Donald Trump’s presidential victory, as well as his anti-terrorism and anti-chaos rhetoric on Iraq.
Once the announcement came that Trump had won, many Iraqi politicians and citizens expressed joy. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the new US president for his victory, and said that he looks forward to further cooperation between the two countries in all fields, particularly on security issues and the fight against terrorist groups in Iraq.
Iraqi President Fuad Masum and parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri also sent Trump congratulatory messages. Jabouri anticipated a Trump presidency to “bring gains for the Middle East and Iraq, particularly in the fight against terrorism and elimination of the Islamic State [IS] organization, in a way that brings about security and stability to the region and the world.”
The government-funded Iraqi Media Network welcomed the Trump victory in an article that mentioned previous speeches of Trump, in which he said that he would defeat IS and that nobody would be tougher on IS than him, and so on. The author perceived Trump’s Middle East policy to be closer to Iraq, as well as a deterrent to religious extremism in the region and the tide of Saudi Wahhabism.
Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, a leader and parliamentarian for the National Alliance and former national security adviser under the presence of US troops in Iraq, said Nov. 9 that Donald Trump’s victory “is a good sign for the Middle East in general, and Iraq in particular.”
He argued, “Obama withdrew US troops from Iraq in late 2011 without guarantees, which caused the return of terrorism to Iraq. Thus, Trump’s victory would be a good thing for Iraq.” He said that, in general, “Republicans are better than Democrats for Iraq, because everything that has happened to Iraq occurred under the Democrats’ era.”