Al-Maliki’s Ties to Iran Create Trouble for Iraqi Democracy

By Eugen Iladi.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The ability of Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, to maintain power in Baghdad is increasingly linked to the support he receives from Iran.

Al-Maliki and his inner circle are notoriously tied to the Ayatollahs in Tehran who have been meddling in Iraqi politics to help their Shiite brethren and exert more influence in Baghdad.

Iran is trying to shore-up support in the region by ensuring friendly leaders stay in power in key neighboring countries. With Syria’s regime faltering and Iran’s nuclear program causing increasingly bellicose reaction around the globe, the stability of the region looks shakier than ever.

Recent media reports cite both analysts and diplomatic sources in asserting that al-Maliki’s ability to survive a no-confidence vote in the Iraqi Parliament is hanging by a thread – and that thread leads directly to Tehran.

The only way for al-Maliki to maintain power, insiders say, is by allowing more Iranian influence in Iraqi politics.

But the Kurds and Sunnis who are part of the governing balance in Iraq view increased influence from Iran with suspicion, even alarm. Some prominent Shiite political and religious figures in Iraq, such as Muqtada al-Sadr and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, emphasize their Arab identity and distance themselves from Iran.

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