Abdul Rahman al-Rashed
April 2, 2010

Without equivocation, a large number of politicians, and particularly key players in the elections, flocked to Tehran to hold meetings with senior officials of the Iranian regime including General Qassim Sulaimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ al-Quds Corps and the official responsible for Iraqi affairs.

Has the Iraqi issue ended up with the Iranians in control of Iraq and its presidential appointments? Any body who knows the political arena cannot state with confidence that Iran has no role or value regarding Iraq, especially now. On the contrary, every one knows that Iran has an important role, and key players are expected to take into consideration Iranian interests that overlap with Iraqi interests, but not at the expense of Iraq’s own national interests.

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What seems to be happening is that rivals are making pilgrimage to Tehran and are calling on the Iranians for help so that it can interfere and help them gain power, and give its blessing by bringing alliances together to achieve the required parliamentary quota or endorse them and reject their rivals. Those people have actually made their country Iraq a banana republic and inferior to a hostile regime that will not allow any of those politicians to go against Iran’s demands. We should not forget that in the future it will not be easy for Iraq to confront Iranian-Iraqi problems whilst Iran is under the current regime led by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. These problems include border disputes, oil fields, joint waterways, foreign relations with the U.S. etc. In addition, the struggle within the supreme Iranian leadership may reflect on the Iraqi alliances in Iraq.

I expect that those flocking to Tehran would respond to this and justify it by saying that Iraqi politicians travelled to Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Damascus and Cairo, so why accuse them of treachery when they visit their Iranian neighbour? No one is objecting to Iraq’s right to contact Iran but we cannot ignore the fears that neighbouring countries have that Iraq will be transformed into another Lebanon, which had a complex relationship with Syria. [Lebanese] political party leaders had to wait outside the door of a [Syrian] military officer like Ghazi Kanaan before he would allow them to enter or expect a phone call from him just to deal with purely local issues. We do not want a large country like Iraq, which has such huge potential and natural resources with which it could be the richest of all countries in the region, to find itself in a similar situation. The visit made by senior Iraqi politicians to Iran to meet General Sulaimani signals a shameful or rather a worrying stage for the country and the people of Iraq.


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