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Iraq…It's an Iranian Alliance - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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There is no other way to describe the electoral alliance that was announced on Tuesday between the State of Law Coalition and the Iraqi National Alliance except as an Iranian one. What’s considered a purely sectarian alliance made sectarianism prevail over the nation, with the aim of excluding half of the Iraqi society, and of course the consequences will be detrimental.

In amazement, a Western official told me “how America handed over Iraq to Iran.” The truth is that the first person to say this openly and in America was the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al Faisal when, in the presence of the then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, he said that America had handed Iraq to Iran on a golden platter. A well-informed Saudi told me that the Americans, Rice in particular, were very angry that day, however today Prince Saud al Faisal’s words have been confirmed decisively.

It is not important to understand the reasons that prompted this Shia alliance and the coup over half of the Iraqi nation; it is more important to understand the harmful consequences that will result from the alliance. The alliance suggests that there is a long road ahead for Iraq and that the common denominator between the two coalitions is the sectarian dimension. This is what will result in instability in Iraq and a lack of trust between Iraq and its Arab surroundings. It is by no means an easy matter, and the Iraqis will remember that only when it is too late as some triumphs look like defeats and even stronger is the bitterness of defeat. Democracy is not based on the dominance of sectarianism and serving foreign agendas and that of Iran in particular. If every component of the Arab countries went in search of its sectarian depth then disaster would have struck in the region. Therefore, the national umbrella is the most effective and the safest; in fact it is the only request and the place of rational-minded people.

But what has happened in Iraq is contrary to that. Those being targeted here are not only the Sunnis, despite the fact that one week doesn’t pass without news of killings and assassinations (the most recent being the assassination of the deputy head of the Sunni Waqaf authority in west Baghdad yesterday) but there is also the targeting of the Christians in a systematic manner in order to intimidate them and force them out of Iraq in such a blatant manner whilst the Arab and international silence continues!

Now, after the announcement of the alliance between the two Shia coalitions in Iraq we should not be surprised at [what happens in] the upcoming days even if we do feel sad about the where the Iraqi situation is going. But what’s important is that the Iraqiya List, with its Sunnis and Shia, remains solid and rational and the same thing applies to the Kurds. This is for the simple reason that history is documented and time passes and the best example of that is the former regime of Saddam Hussein. Who would have thought that it would end in the way it did?

Therefore, it is not important who becomes Prime Minister in Iraq whether it is al Maliki or anyone else; what’s important is that it is clear to us today that Iraq is on the brink of unknown consequences; if it falls into the cycle of violence then it will harm us all and if it throws itself into the arms of Iran, then the catastrophe is even bigger, as Tehran will be looking over the Arabian Gulf from several points and though it will be up to its neck in oil fields, it will also be the carrier of firewood!

Has the picture become clear? I believe it is as clear as the sun!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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