Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Will America Sell Iraq to the Iranians? | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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The goal behind most of the confrontations, bombings, assassinations, and the 250,000 fatalities that took place in the years following the invasion of Iraq was to sit at the table of concessions in Baghdad, for both Washington and Tehran need Iraq.

Iran has started to reap the fruits of its policy, and Washington is today paying the price of its failure.

Recently, the ambassadors of the two countries have met publicly to discuss the Iraqi situation. The meeting is a clear US submission regardless of whatever is said to the contrary, and it comes as a retraction of a million statements by the United States refusing to negotiate over Iraq. The Question is: “Why was the meeting not secretly held in Cyprus or Jamaica, as it is supposed to be in such concessions? Maybe it is a clear message directed to all the countries of the region to the effect that the United States is willing to cooperate with Iran on the Iraqi situation since the Arab parties refused to do so.

The Arabs will consider the meeting as a negative development, which would shake the image of Washington and their trust in it, and will fear the meeting might be a prelude to bigger concessions and cooperation between the two foes. a political commentator blamed the moderate Arab countries in the region, saying they were the ones that pushed the US government into sitting with Iran. He said: “We wished these countries would help this country, which is targeted by our and their rivals in the region, but they preferred to assume the role of a spectator. Thus, there was no choice for the Americans but to negotiate with the Iranians.

Regrettably, we should admit that the Arabs have played a negative role toward Iraq since the beginning.” Their intentional absence has made Iran build its presence in an organized and increasing manner until it became the second actual ruler in the Iraqi arena after the United States. And due to the absence of a positive Arab participation, the balance was disturbed. The latest disturbance occurred when Muqtada al-Sadr, joined the Iranian camp. He has returned to Iraq to enter into a new confrontation with the United States.

If the Arab states continue to only just complain, watch, and leave the central regime in Iraq to its fate, the country will practically become an Iranian colony for the next twenty years. Here I would like to highlight two problems: The first is finding it enough to blame others, instead of shouldering the responsibility. It is unreasonable to establish a policy only on the basis of complaining and blaming the United States for what they [Arabs] did in the past, because what is more important is to deal with the situation known to everybody. The second problem is that of adopting the policy of isolation and not being involved in the Iraqi situation despite the fact that Iraq is a large country located at the heart of the region’s political equation. The consequences of [what is happening in] this country cannot be evaded.

Iraq has a population of 25 million and the second largest oil reserve in the world, and it will generate $100 billion in annual revenues. Supporting the central regime in Baghdad, irrespective of who is leading it, by communicating with it and drawing it away from Tehran aims at ensuring that Iraq will be independent of any influence whatsoever, be it that of the United States, Iran, or any other regional side. The region has an interest in having a free Iraq, which serves its interests directly, not the interests of Arab or other countries. The world and the Arabs have an interest in Iraq becoming a stable and strong, not subservient, country, unlike Hamas, Hezbollah, and others, which are currently run from Tehran.