Can US-Sunni Alliance lure Baghdad away from Tehran?

Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq, has been trying to prevent this. On May 15, he called upon Iran and Saudi Arabia to “exercise restraint and refrain from escalation.” He also called for a “serious and beneficial dialogue between the two to keep the region safe and secure and put an end to the sectarian war.”

Many observers say that, looking at Iraq’s political scene realistically, Iran isn't likely to lose its influence there. The Iraqi government includes major Shiite forces with very special relations with Tehran. The PMU is very popular in Iraq because it has contributed greatly toward defeating IS, and Tehran has supported its battles, both at the financial and military levels. Thus, the PMU won't accept any attempt to distance Baghdad from Tehran.

The United States and Iran have coexisted in Iraq since 2003, and this is likely to continue unhindered. On the basis of respect for sovereignty and noninterference in internal affairs, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — Sunni countries — are expected to give Iraq a chance to be an honest mediator to solve problems between them and Iran.

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