US report: Biden's indifference gave Iran the upper hand in Iraq and enabled al-Maliki to lead a judicial coup
Reports & Analytics Iraq Iran breaking Biden Al-Maliki
Shafaq News/ The American "Washington Institute" criticized the "indifference" with which the administration of US President Joe Biden dealt with the Iraqi elections and the subsequent developments, which created a vacuum that Tehran quickly filled, and enabled it to "steal" the victory after Iraq became a priority for Iran and not for Washington, Accusing former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by name of having orchestrated a "judicial coup".
The US report stated that it had "become too dangerous to allow the emerging democracy in Baghdad to take care of itself" alone, noting that Biden boasted six weeks ago in an article for the "Washington Post" that the Middle East had become "more stable and secure" than it was with his predecessor, Donald Trump, He cited the example of Iraq and the reduction in missile attacks against US troops and diplomats.
The report considered that while Biden was right that fewer Americans were targeted, he noted that this single measure is hardly sufficient to support his claim about stability, explaining that by almost all other measures, Iraq is currently less stable than it was in the past. January 2021 (the date Biden took office) and US interests there are under greater threat.
The report spoke of a remarkable turn of events during the past 10 months, as after it seemed that Iraq could form a government committed to reducing the destructive role played by the Iranian-backed militias and imposing Iraq's sovereignty against its larger neighbor, but the political allies of Iran now have the upper hand. Fragile democracy is under unprecedented threat while violence, even between Shiite forces themselves, has become a possibility for the first time in a decade.
The report considered that the situation "should not have been this way" after Muqtada al-Sadr emerged as the biggest winner in the elections that took place last October, which called for an Iraq not controlled by Washington or Tehran.
And after referring to Iran's allies delaying the formation of a government that al-Sadr tried to form with the Kurds and Sunnis, he continued that al-Sadr and his Kurdish partners did not fully seize the favorable moment for them, but at least they were making slow progress,
but the Coordination Framework Forces alliance "played the trump card" to prevent them from Choosing the prime minister and the ministers, by using his control over the corrupt judiciary, where the Supreme Court ruled that, for the first time, there is no need in order to form a government, to obtain a simple majority, but rather a two-thirds majority must be obtained in Parliament.
After the report questioned who orchestrated this "judicial coup", he said that "no one but Nuri al-Maliki, who is known for his massive corruption and sectarianism, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS," noting that this "king-maker" narrowly escaped in January. The second 2021 of sanctions by the administration of Donald Trump.
While the report referred to the mutual sit-ins between the two camps in the Green Zone, the report said that in light of the continuation of the stalemate, tensions are increasing between the Shiites in Iraq, and that regardless of how the crisis is resolved, it is likely that Iran will emerge with a strong position in Baghdad, which will frustrate the will of the voters Who voted overwhelmingly for change in the October elections.
The report concluded by saying that it does not appear that the US administration "made any efforts to thwart this scenario," since during the nine months between the elections and the resignation of Sadr's representatives, senior officials of the US State Department and the National Security Council visited Iraq only twice, while Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Iraq. By making a few phone calls with Iraqi decision-makers.
In an effort to influence developments on the ground, the excellent new US ambassador to Iraq, Elena Romanovsky, may have lobbied after her arrival in Baghdad in June as well, but in any case, she did so without sufficient support from the Washington side.
The report considered that the failure of high-ranking US officials to participate in the efforts of Iraq's attempts to form a government, was not an inadvertence but was a deliberate decision, recalling that a senior Biden administration official spoke indifferently last December, that their plan is to "leave the matter to the Iraqis to decide."
The report pointed out that Iraq's democracy is nascent and it is struggling to survive under the pressure of Iran's long arm in Iraq, represented by the 100,000-strong Popular Mobilization Forces, adding that the elections could have weakened Iran's grip, but the American disengagement during the government formation process, Behind a void filled by Tehran.
While talking about the numerous visits made by Iranian officials, including Quds Force commander Ismail Qaani to Iraq, to threaten their local partners and opponents and convince them of how to organize the government, the report considered that this discrepancy indicates that Washington’s approach was a policy of non-interference, where it did not use The US administration has diplomatic and economic influence in order to protect the political process that is under attack from Tehran.
The report concluded by saying that "all this is important because Iraq is important to the United States and its interests in the region," recalling that thousands of Americans did not lose their lives and limbs only in order to help build a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, but, unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is an actual partner. in the fight against terrorism and has a real chance to become a full-fledged democracy."
He explained that Iraq is located on a "vital geostrategic region, has the fifth largest oil reserves in the world, and is in the front line against Iran's efforts to expand its influence throughout the Middle East."
After noting that Washington is close to reaching a nuclear agreement with Tehran, the report pointed out that "confronting Iran's interference in Baghdad has become more urgent, both for the United States and for its regional partners," adding that the approach of
The non-interference adopted by the Biden administration in the process of forming the government, allowed the mullahs (in Iran) to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.” He continued, “For some incomprehensible reason, it seems that Iraq, in which the United States fought two major wars during the past decades, did not It is a priority for Washington, and unfortunately, it has become a priority for Tehran."