After the completion of constitutional entitlements of Iraqi parliament through the election of its president , Mohammed al-Halbusi and its two deputies , Hassan al-Kaabi and Bashir Haddad, last Saturday, attention is heading towards the main Kurdish blocs, which is scheduled to hold a new meeting on Tuesday evening to agree on the name of its candidate for the presidency of the Republic of Iraq, it is an honorary post that does not have constitutional privileges or executive powers , written after the US occupation in 2003 . Within the corridors of the Kurdish leadership in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah, several names have been put forward for the post of President of the Republic. Kurdish forces continue their meetings to find the appropriate name to be represented in Baghdad on this level, among what was considered a Kurdish entitlement within the Iraqi political process based on sectarian and ethnic quotas, based on the distribution adopted by the Americans after their occupation of Iraq in 2003.
And leaks from Kurdish sources in the Democratic Party that are acquainted about the ongoing negotiations between the Kurdish forces on the post of President of the republic , confirmed “The most prominent candidates for this position are former deputy prime minister Barham Salih, former foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari, head of the presidential council’s advisers, Currently Abdul Latif Rashid, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan region currently Nigervan Barzani, leader in the Kurdistan Democratic Party Fadhil Mirani, and other leader in the Kurdistan Union in Sulaymaniyah Mullah Bakhtiar. Barham Saleh is the most likely to take the post of president of the republic.
On the other hand, it is likely that the overthrow of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has “succeeded.”Tehran accomplished the mission and Washington disappointed him , even though the man paid the price for his position in which he declared his government’s neutrality over the sanctions the United States had imposed on Iran . It has began to be put into the corridors of Iraqi political forces in Baghdad and Najaf since the days several candidates for the post of prime minister of the new government. These names are seen as candidates for a compromise between the “Fatah” coalition led by Hadi al-Amiri and the “Saroon” led by Moqtada al-Sadr. The most prominent names are “the name of the former oil minister and withdrawn years ago from the Supreme Islamic Council, Adel Abdul Mahdi, the head of the intelligence service, Mustafa Kadhmi and the name of the prominent leader in the battle of Mosul, General Abdel Wahab Saadi, and the name of the dismissed leader of the popular crowd , Faleh Fayyad, Former minister and member of the Interim Governing Council in 2003 2004 Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, who has been living for many years in London.
The Shiite political forces entered the stage of searching for a prime minister other than Haider al-Abadi, and the dispute is now moved from the subject of alliances and which is the largest bloc that has a right to form a government to the issue of compatibility between the list of “Fatah”, led by Hadi al-Ameri, and “Saroon”, led by Moqtada al-Sadr, on the post of PM of the government, because there is a conviction that any government born without one of the two parties will not last a few months. The current dispute is Sadr’s insistence on naming an independent Shiite prime minister that does not belong to any party or bloc, in the sense of allegiance or party affiliation, and has an economic background, while the opposing camp, represented by Hahdi al-Amiri, opposes this trend, considering this trend is the beginning of the end of Shiite rule of Iraq. it was pointed out that the threat of Sadr, last Thursday, to go to the opposition came after receiving a response to reject the specifications of the Prime Minister by the other side, describing the current situation as a complex and open to many scenarios.
What happened in the elections for the presidency of the Iraqi Council of Representatives last Saturday confirms that what is approaching is the formation of a new Iraqi government which is a rift to the US approach, Mohammed al-Halbusi, the former governor of Anbar ascended to the presidency of the Council, with the support of the Saroon and Fatah blocs , which is said to be the closest to consensus on the formation of the government, it is not hidden for any one the role played by Iran in bringing about this rapprochement. The question to be raised in this context: will Tehran be able to win the round of Iraqi prime minister’s election?
And if Tehran is able to do so, this is an indication of the weakness of the American role in exchange for Iran’s vast influence in the country, beyond what can be considered a mandate on Mesopotamia, not only on the political or security issues, but also reached the social and religious system , and even the educational . That explains why Washington’s Sunni and Kurdish allies have appeared insubordinate to its pressures on them , and they have more faith in the promises of the Iranians than Americans. Washington’s weakness has become part of the political calculations of Iraqi groups. The nearest parties to it began to move a way from it . The Kurds, Washington’s historic allies in Iraq, are now in Tehran. Sunni Arabs, Tehran’s presumed opponents, found themselves in the open air , developed relations with the sectarian and political opponent.
Most of the Iraqi politicians felt these days that the American influence on the Iraqi scene has diminished, and by the magnitude and expansion of Iranian influence. This fact is imposed on these politicians, or on those who did not initiate to gain the affection of General Kassem Soleimani, they have to be in a hurry to take this step . What has happened between Abadi and Washington, if viewed from a distance that allows for re-writing, is truly amazing. Washington negotiated at the head of a person who is assumed that he was not its adversary, and apparently accepted another as prime minister. Abadi was at the midpoint between it and Tehran. Alternative names are all closer to Tehran, with varying levels of proximity and distance. Faleh al-Fayyad is closer to Tehran than Adel Abdul-Mahdi, but the two men are closer to Tehran than Haider al-Abadi.
The most important question is whether Washington is interested, this time, in the new Iraqi government being less biased and subordinate to Iran , not because it is keen on the interests of Iraq and Iraqis, but it wants a government that it responds to its pressures and siege on Iran , and does Washington not want Iraq to be a backyard for Iran ? on the other hand , it does not take any step to help Iraq in this task. But what really puzzles in this scene is that Washington does not want Iraq to be in Tehran’s hands, nor does it want a bridge to circumvent its sanctions. It does not want this , but it does not want to save the ones who can fits in with it just as it did with the Kurds when it let them down in Kirkuk, and with the Arab Sunnis when it did not move a bit about replacing ISIS with the “popular crowd” in their “cities”.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies