In light of the escalating events in Iraq months ago, and after dozens of targeting the US embassy in Baghdad and convoys of logistical support and US bases over the past months, the debate rages about the relationship that will control the rhythm of interaction between Washington and Baghdad after the inauguration of the US President-elect Joe Biden as the president of the White House on the 20th Of this month.
Perhaps the most prominent files that concern the Iraqis are the possibilities of the US-Iranian conflict on Iraqi lands, which have become a scene of security tension between Tehran and Washington a year ago against the background of Washington’s assassination of the Iranian Quds Force commander, General Qassem Soleimani, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Authority.
nature of relationship
“Washington has not reached to consider Iraq a reliable partner or ally,” according to the Iraqi political researcher Ghaith Al-Tamimi, who believes that despite this, the United States is keen to maintain some kind of relationship with Baghdad at any level, as well as that Iraq cannot intersect with it. .
In his interview with Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Tamimi points out that Iranian influence is clear in Iraq, and therefore Tehran is also keen to build understandings with Washington to avoid the scourge of the other 4 years of sanctions it has witnessed under the rule of Donald Trump, and thus the Iranians are keen to prevent escalation in Iraq.
While the deputy of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in the Iraqi parliament, Sherwan Al-Dubirdani, believes that it is not clear how the relationship between Washington and Baghdad will be after Biden takes power in the United States, indicating in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the coming months will reveal this.
As for the representative of the “Sairoun” bloc, Sabah Taloubi, he believes that the Iraqi parliament demanded about a year ago for the exit of American forces from Iraq by a parliamentary decision, stressing that this represents the opinion of the Iraqi street.
And my request adds to Al-Jazeera Net that if Washington withdraws its forces from Iraq, it will be dealt with diplomatically according to the principle of reciprocity, as he put it, which means that Baghdad will deal with Washington according to the interests that serve the Iraqi people.
For his part, Muhannad al-Janabi, professor of international relations at Cihan University, believes that Iraq has not yet reached the level of a partner that Washington can trust, and that unless Baghdad takes steps towards armed factions and escalation, Washington will not attach great importance to Iraq, and its strategy will remain focused on The Middle East region in general.
Will the escalation continue?
Al-Janabi added in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the Shiite factions that target Washington’s interests are part of the Iranian strategy in Iraq, and thus the scenario of escalating tension may continue by some factions that have begun to feel the loss of their Iranian-backed project, as happened with the Khorsani Brigades.
Al-Janabi added that if Washington’s policy towards Tehran changes with the advent of Biden, the discourse of the majority of the factions will change gradually based on the Iranian desire, but if Biden continues with Trump’s approach, it is not unlikely that the escalation will continue, and there may be an American response with the size of a threat. American interests.
As for the deputy from Nineveh Governorate, Ahmad al-Jubouri, he believes that the finger-biting game between Iran and its arms in Iraq and the United States will end, and the two parties will sit back together to re-divide the influence in the Arab region in a new way, as he put it.
“The strings of dolls who dreamed of dancing with adults or even crying with them will be severed, so do not wait for fireworks or acrobatics,” Al-Jubouri told Al-Jazeera.
Contrary to this vision, security expert Abd al-Khaliq al-Shaher excludes the existence of a comprehensive change in US policy towards Iraq, and that Washington sees a necessity in its presence to ward off Iranian dangers, which have become a major concern for its interests, as he put it.
Al-Shahir added that the reasons for Washington’s adherence to Iraq lie in the fact that the regional situation in the Middle East is different from what it was during Washington’s withdrawal in 2011, adding that Iran was not at that time a threat to Washington’s interests in the region, unlike the current situation in which its interests were exposed to dozens of missile attacks.
Al-Tamimi confirms that Biden is one of the hawks of the Democratic Party, and therefore there are many factors that will not make him overlook any targeting of US interests, in addition to the growing Israeli influence, which is playing a greater role in the Middle East region, especially after the recent normalization with many Arab countries.
Regarding the possibility of Washington’s withdrawal, Al-Shaher believes that it will not withdraw from the bases of Ain Al-Assad in Anbar Province and Harir in Iraqi Kurdistan, especially since these two bases fall within the network of vital American bases in the world that Washington will not in any way neglect them.
A member of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee, Kamal Khorshid, goes in this direction, confirming that the American withdrawal, which actually began months ago from some of the bases, does not mean a total withdrawal. Washington is a member of the international coalition that is still working in the country, indicating that the situation in Iraq and the region has become more severe Complicated than it was years ago.
Regarding the reasons that may lead to the survival of the American forces, he adds to Al-Jazeera Net that “there are many dangers looming in the country, especially the interference of neighboring countries and the continuing threat of the Islamic State, which has returned to carry out many attacks, as well as that Iraq still needs American intelligence and air support.”
However, Ali Agwan, a professor of political science at Bayan University, comments that targeting US interests in Iraq will not stop unless a direct agreement takes place between Tehran and Washington, referring to the Iranian messages that it sends from inside Baghdad towards US interests.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Agwan continues that the withdrawal is linked to the conflict itself, as the greater the conflict between Tehran and Washington, the less American influence inside the country and vice versa, except that he believes that the United States does not intend to withdraw all its forces and bases from Iraq under any circumstances.
What is Al-Kazemi’s position?
In light of the challenges that Iraq faces internally and externally, the role of the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, who took office at a time described by many observers as the most difficult in the history of modern Iraq.
This is what Agwan comments on that Al-Kazemi needs more persuasion, boldness and adventure at the same time in order to deliver strong messages to all factions, to Iran and even to the American side. It is likely that Biden may provide more support to Iraq, but the greater effort will fall on Al-Kazemi, which must go towards More important actions and decisions.
Returning to Muhannad al-Janabi, he believes that Al-Kazemi’s perception is not commensurate with the size of the challenges facing the country, in addition to that Al-Kazemi and if he confronts the factions, the Shiite blocs and factions may resort to trying to withdraw confidence from him. Which is impossible, as he put it.
He continues that the continuation of Al-Kazemi’s approach in not confronting the factions will weaken his chances in the upcoming elections, which will pave the way for his loss of the elections and the survival of the internal situation as it is.
Many scenarios are those that have begun to find their way to the media in Iraq, as with the Sadrist movement’s pledge to obtain a hundred parliamentary seats (out of a total of 329 seats) and the formation of a government headed by the Sadrist movement, many questions arise about this government’s dealings with the United States.
It is worth noting that since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, no political bloc has been able to win the majority of parliamentary seats that qualify for the formation of a non-coalition Iraqi government, which led to all previous governments being consensual and formed from the majority of the blocs in the House of Representatives.
Al-Janabi comments on him that this hypothesis is premature, and that the Sadrist movement uses early propaganda against opponents in a way through which it tries to deliver messages to Iran and the United States, ruling out the Sadrist movement becoming prime minister on the grounds that both international powers and Iran will not allow the movement to obtain a position Prime minister.
As for Aldobardani MP, he also excludes any political bloc obtaining a majority in parliament, in addition to the fact that it is impossible to form an Iraqi government from a single bloc without consensus with the Kurds, Sunni Arabs and other blocs.