US, Iranian Influence Evolves in Iraq

In the context of all this, Maliki will go to Tehran with the hope of renewing the tacit US-Iranian agreement on him staying for a third term.

All this data raises questions on the nature of the suggested solutions to the ongoing Iraqi crisis, in light of the variables in the regional and international arenas. It can be assumed that Iranian policy in Iraq will not necessarily remain the same following the agreement with the West on its nuclear program.

Yet no one can predict the political arrangements that were or will be made over Iraq against the backdrop of this agreement and in the context of the expected agreement on the Syrian crisis.

One of the expected results of the agreement on Iran's nuclear program is the opening of US-Iranian communication lines in the foreseeable future, which will probably lead to different understandings on the situation in Iraq. US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed, however, that the development of the US-Iranian ties in long run requires that Tehran “improve its behavior.”

Over the past years, Tehran has treated the situation in Iraq as the outcome of a regional conflict, rather than an internal conflict. Thus, the future of Iraq was strongly included in Iran's national-security requirements and crucially associated with the escalating conflict in the whole Middle East region.

Based on that consideration in particular, Iran has managed its influence in Iraq in order to achieve two goals: to keep its distance from the turmoil that resulted from the US occupation of Iraq, and to use Iraq as both a pressure card and a vital space to manage its conflict in the region and around the world.

This approach has been relatively successful for Iran, which has demonstrated its ability to manage a fierce regional conflict over its influence in the Middle East, just as it has managed the conflict with the UN Security Council and the international community over its nuclear program.

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