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Foreign influences on the formation of a ruling coalition in Iraq

March 29, 2010

The following article is reprinted with permission from Roads to Iraq, intel blog.

Foreign influences on the formation of a ruling coalition in Iraq
©  Roads to Iraq
March 29, 2010

Minutes after the official announcement of election results, Allawi talked to his supporters saying the following:

Iraq is ready to extend a hand of brotherhood to all neighboring countries, (such as) Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Jordan and Kuwait, on the basis of non-interference…

The interesting part of the above, is that Allawi didn’t name the U.S. in the list of countries that play a crucial role in Iraqi politics.

Expectations indicate, that the results of the Iraqi election, will activate the influences of the third parties interferences, and in particular Saudi Arabia, Iran regionally, the U.S. and UK at the international level.

– Saudi Arabia: Leaked information revealed that Riyadh had provided Al-Iraqiya Coalition at least one billion dollars.

– Iran: Focuses most of its support on the Iraqi National Alliance (Al-Ja’afari) and, to a lesser extent, on the State of Law (Al-Maliki).

– U.S.: Adopted the double standards principle, making it possible for Washing­ton to benefit in any circumstances. While Washington expressed its pro­fessed support for the State of Law (Maliki), it also demonstrated its strong sup­port for Al-Iraqiya (Ayad Allawi) through Saudi Arabia with the Kingdom’s posi­tion as a proxy in Iraq’s political arena.

– U.K.: Confidentiality policy not to anger Washington, and Saudi Arabia; this approach allowed the U.K. to achieve some success. The U.K. supported as many Iraqis live in the U.K. as possible, in order to support and strengthen Al-Iraqiya.

Al-Qabas revealed that the British Foreign Office has called Shiite figures out­side Iraq to express its desire to nominate Allawi, and the need to promote this desire through special relationships with the parties concerned.

External pressures on the formation of Iraq’s new ruling coalition, would be rep­resented in the following:

– Washington and Saudi Arabia will pressure for the establishment of an alliance between the Al-Iraqiya (Ayad Allawi) and the Kurdistan Alliance (Tala­bani – Barzani) in order to allow secure block (91 +43) which is equivalent to 134 seats. For the remaining 29 from the 163 seats required for the PM post, Washington – Riyadh will secure the support of the small-blocs, as well as to cause divisions and splits among Maliki’s, and Ja’afari’s supporters.

The above is more a Saudi agenda than a U.S. one. The American prefer to see a government contains both Allawi and Maliki ~ U.S. embassy in Iraq spokesman Philip Frayne telling Al-Sabah newspaper:

It is important that there is no particular party that imposes its authority over the majority of the people, and the new government will be formed a consensually, involving various components of the Iraqi people.

Also, Al-Qabas reported:

Washington advised Saudi Arabia to “widen” the range of its talks with Iraq.

– Iran will keep its support within the Shiite religious frameworks, and in this regard, information says that Tehran has begun to act in terms of building a large Shiite coalition the includes State of Law (Maliki) and the Iraqi National Alliance (Ja’afari), to ensure a majority of (89 +70) makes it an equivalent of 159 seats, which needs four more seats only to achieve the required 163 seats.

The Iraqi scene is full of surprises and unexpected scenarios:

There are pressures from the Shiite political blocs and the government to reacti­vate the Justice and Accountability decision to exclude a few candidates, most of the them are from Al-Iraqiya list (the total is about 19 seats).

This can turn the table against Allawi at any moment, especially since the cur­rent Iraqi politicians have mastered the political maneuvers game, and thus it is possible, and by the influence of political-money, to turn some MPs in Allawi’s List to vote in the parliament to lift the immunity of the 19 seats.

According to the current developments, Tehran started to “decapitate” Al-Iraqiya List through the creation of (at least the minimum) agreement between INA (Jaafari) and SoL (Maliki).

We can not classify Syria among the above, because of its unique position. Against the presence of the U.S. forces and Anti-occupation of Iraq, some dif­ferences with Saudi Arabia (agreed to together lately on the Iraqi issue) and close ties with Iran.

Among all these mixed positions, Syria supports Allawi and his Iraqiya List as revealed today on Al-Quds Al-Arabi:

Syria will be fully ded­i­cated to the conditions of form­ing an Iraqi gov­ern­ment, because it is the most impor­tant gov­ern­ment in the Amer­i­can occu­pa­tion of Iraq era, and per­haps Syria, accord­ing to some Iraqi sources, will encour­age Ammar Al-Hakim of the Supreme Coun­cil in sup­port Allawi. Accord­ing to the source Syria and Turkey will pres­sure the Kur­dis­tan Alliance to sup­port Allawi.


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