US, Iranian Influence Evolves in Iraq

In contrast, Washington, which eventually withdrew from Iraq and has put up with a conspiracy that has spread for years in the Middle East among politicians, media and the people — that the United States handed Iraq to Iran on a silver platter — was not open to abandoning its role in Iraq to Iran. Rather, it has continued through both visible and invisible channels to affirm, develop and strengthen this role.

The US-Iranian tacit deal to renew Maliki’s second term in late 2010 was not the fruit of US-Iranian coordination, as many media outlets circulated. Rather, it was the result of a conflict at multiple levels that went beyond Iraq to regional and international balances. It is more like an agreement to keep the form of the Iraqi state at a minimally acceptable level.

It is nothing new to say that Maliki was not the first Iranian choice as candidate for the position at the time, nor was he the favorite candidate for the United States.  Yet, he was the one who could maintain the agreement between the two sides at the time.

Has this equation changed?

The answer to this question was not clear from Maliki’s last visit to Washington, and will probably still not be so after his visit to Tehran. This is because talking about strategic variables in the countries’ orientations requires additional time and continuous testing of their intentions.

The answer requires more detailed data: Is the current Iraqi situation, which is on the edge, sliding into a civil war and partition, acceptable to Iran and the United States? Is it acceptable that pulling Iraq out of this quagmire will be one of the results of the arrangements of the nuclear solution and the background of the Geneva II conference?

(Iran image via Shutterstock)

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