A new Saudi formula to contain Iran in Iraq
A new Saudi formula to contain Iran in Iraq
Saudi Arabia is re-establishing its accounts in Iraq and is pushing new bets and economic papers in the face of Iranian influence, which escalated with the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 and seeks to re-establish the position by attracting actors, most notably the Sadrists and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The search for the new Saudi equation in Iraq in the context of the unprecedented escalation with Iran in a non-confrontational arena, especially in Yemen and Lebanon and to a lesser extent Syria, where Saudi politicians realize that containment or neutralization, the center of the Iranian weight in the region is strategically important, especially with the border Long open between the two.
After the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Iraq became the “wall of resistance” against the Iranian expansion project and the export of the revolution. It gained great Saudi support during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, which did not end the regime in Iran or its influence in the region.
The Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 followed the American war on Iraq from Saudi Arabia and the siege and beyond, the 2003 war and the overthrow of the regime in Baghdad, to mix the cards and give Iran the upper hand in Iraq.
Many thorny issues, mutual mistrust and the influence of parties close to Iran have kept bilateral relations strained, even after relations between the two countries resumed in July 2006 following a visit by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to Riyadh.
The arrival of Haider al-Abadi as Prime Minister in 2014 contributed to the relaxation of relations with Riyadh, where he tried to restore Baghdad’s relations with the Arab region, especially the Gulf, to activate diplomatic missions and exchange visits, most notably the visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir to Baghdad in February 2017, Opening the new Saudi equation towards Iraq.
A new equation
After the end of the stage of the organization of the Islamic state in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and American support seek to be an active player in the balance game in Iraq, especially that the elections are at the door, through the economic temptation and “clever and planned containment to withdraw Iraqi Shiites Arabs from Iran and return them to the Arab arena Which they have been away from for fourteen years, “says Iraqi journalist Ziad al-Ajili.
The visit of the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr to Riyadh within the context of the plan “to polarize the Shiite Arab tide in Iraq, which is represented by Sadr and balance with him and with the tide of Shiite Iran,” and thus try to block the expansion of Iran in Iraq,
Observers believe that Abadi is trying to curb the influence of the great Iranian in his country by developing relations with Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, while Washington is working to strengthen Saudi-Iraqi relations as a priority in the US administration’s strategy to confront and contain Tehran.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Saudi Arabia to support Iraq politically and economically, to strengthen the chances of the moderate project led by Abadi, he said.
The paper economy
was to declare the Saudi Coordination Council of Iraq in Riyadh, in the presence of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al – Abadi, and with the participation of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson important implications, about the new bets that it deals Riyadh with Baghdad , with American backing, where it was agreed to open ports Border and air links between the two countries, as well as other measures.
The new council was established by a delegation of Saudi businessmen to Iraq on board Saudi Arabian Airlines 27 years after the cessation of Saudi air traffic to Baghdad and the participation of more than sixty Saudi companies in the events of the Baghdad International Fair for the first time in October.
Saudi Arabia plans to support Abadi through a series of projects and economic measures implemented mostly in the poor areas of the south, including the transfer of Samawa desert between Iraq and Saudi Arabia to an investment area in the field of agriculture and animal wealth, as indicated by Iraqi media.
These Saudi projects will provide significant assistance to Abadi especially at the electoral level during the anticipated competition in the 2018 elections, especially with the current that includes Maliki, the leader of a coalition of state law and senior leaders of the popular mobilization forces.
Washington and Riyadh believe that the military successes of Abadi and his government against the organization of the state and good management of the file of the Kurdish referendum and its repercussions if supported by economic success will have influential electoral results, which could represent an important political victory in the face of Iranian influence in Iraq.
Abadi is preparing himself for the post-defeat of the Islamic state in Iraq by opening files of corruption – which the Sadrist movement and other parties insist on – and this upcoming battle is meant to hit some political symbols close to Iran in Baghdad and support Abadi in his openness to Riyadh.
This openness, which may be directed to address the economic problems of the country and balance the political scene, is unlikely to be employed within the conflict between Tehran and Riyadh on the region, but to stabilize outside the axis policy, according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Source: Al Jazeera, websites