BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi’s visit to Saudi Arabia last Wednesday showed signs of a serious desire for Baghdad to diversify its regional options, noting that the visit comes with growing US pressure in the light of US on Iran fueled by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards classification as a terrorist organization .And Trump’s announcement – a few minutes ago – not to renew the exemptions of Iran’s oil sanctions when it expires in the next May , pointing out that the decision aims to stop Iranian oil exports altogether, while depriving the regime of its main source of income.
Adil Abdul Mahdi met with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who expressed his satisfaction with the development and stability in Iraq and hoped that the visit of Abdul Mahdi to achieve the aspirations of the two countries to increase cooperation and upgrading relations to achieve the common interests of the two peoples.
For his part, Abdul Mahdi said that “his visit embodies the direction of the Iraqi government and its desire to develop relations with the Kingdom in all fields.” He pointed out, according to a statement issued by his press office, that “the exchange of visits with this high level opens wide prospects and achieve the aspirations of the two peoples, security and stability for all peoples of the region “.
Abdul Mahdi arrived in Riyadh with 11 cabinet ministers and about 60 senior officials in various fields, as well as a large delegation of businessmen, nearly 80 members.
The visit culminated in a series of mutual visits between officials of the two countries, during which a road map was drawn up to sign more than 20 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding in nine areas covering a wide range of concerns of the two neighbors.
Prime minister ,Adil Abdul Mahdi has cultural and political responsibilities that he knows well, and are related to the media and educational approach of some parties loyal to Iran, and to work to put an end to the rages of hatred and vengeance in the media of these parties and satellite channels, which makes the diplomatic steps of Arab openness reserved inside the drawers of the Prime Minister, who also has great and historical responsibilities to save the country from what has reached it , and has wide areas of movement and reliance on the competencies of Iraq and expertise in various political and economic fields, able to serve this trend if he was serious and many of those inside and outside Iraq do not want positions or government positions, but only their service.
There is no doubt that Iran is not comfortable with the visit of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi to Saudi Arabia, nor for any step in Arab openness, because it is eating from its cliff and opening some of the barricades that Tehran has kept closed around the neck of Iraq and believes that if snowball is rolled away from eastern Iraq, it will be difficult in the next stage to stop it , and the loyalty of the armed militias and the supporters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and their reviews in the media, streets and cities will not disrupt the tearing down of the weak spider webs, no matter how great the leaders of the Tehran regime are planning in showing their greatness.
In return for the visit of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to Riyadh, observers say that its importance does not depend on the number of agreements to be adopted, but the political results in the light of his recent visit to Iran and the extent of Iraq’s ability to walk in a neutral area seems impossible.
The Iraqi prime minister finds himself in a difficult position, on the one hand, who wants to stabilize his approach from the Arab axis, especially from Saudi Arabia with diplomatic and economic weight, on the other hand, he does not want to clash with Iran’s allies who control his government and various institutions.
On the eve of his trip to Riyadh, Abdul Mahdi said that his visit to Saudi Arabia will be like previous visits to Egypt and Iran, and “are important visits to show how Iraq works with its surroundings and the Arab and Islamic world.” He stressed that “Iraq wants to be a great meeting point.”
Observers believe that Tehran watched Abdul Mahdi’s visit to Riyadh with caution, in light of the serious intentions shown by the Saudis in support of Iraq. It should be noted that the relationship between Iraq and Iran is a relationship based on the unilateral interest, where Tehran deliberately exploited Iraq to circumvent the US sanctions, Iraq is now viewed as a rare ally, which can contribute to easing the pressure of US sanctions by facilitating access to hard currency, opening up its markets to its goods and relying on it to buy its gas and electricity to meet its energy shortages.
Today, it is possible to speak calmly about the Arab depth of Iraq as a realistic definition that is basically linked to the maturity of political convictions about the need to restore the unstable balance in Iraq’s relations with its regional environment. This balance can not be guaranteed without acknowledging that the absence of Iraq from Arabs and the absence of Arabs from Iraq was not in the interest of anyone. And that what can be called “Iranian tendency” in Iraqi party behavior has produced Iranian political and security influence in Iraq, but fails to achieve cultural influence in reference to Iran’s support for failed political classes that put Iranian interests above Iraqi national interests. It has deepened the concept of “Arab depth” in the popular memory and devoted its contents, in the Iraqi Shiite environment pre-Sunni environment.
Therefore, it was remarkable that the Iraqi President Barham Salih, who is of Kurdish nationality, has devoted the term “Arab depth to Iraq” in most of his recent speeches as a kind of formal acknowledgment of the special relationship between Iraq and its Arab surroundings and that privacy extends deep in history and participants , and efforts to uproot them were not feasible.
Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawbet Center for Research and Strategic Studies