Iran's Loss in Iraq

Many argue that removing the Baath totalitarian regime in Iraq has empowered Iran, especially by opening Iraq to Iranian influence.

First of all, it is really funny to assume that the Baath weak isolated helpless regime in Iraq, after more than a decade of harsh international sanctions and isolation, would be a barrier to any serious activity coming from behind the borders. This regime survived previously in its last phase after Gulf War II only to exist there, and this was because of an American decision and under a balance of power in the Middle East supported by the United States after the Cold War.

In reality, we do not find the typical elements of the political influence used to be in such cases between countries. In particular, there are no means available to the Iranian government to influence the decisions of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi parliament, and nor there are examples about such incidents.

More precisely, referring to the facts of some crucial events and milestones in the Iraqi late history is very indicative and conclusive in this argument. Here, I want to cite three major happenings serving as evidences and examples supporting this conclusion.

First of all, when Iran publicly put its strength behind the nomination of Mr. Jaafari for the Shiat prime minister office after the latest parliamentary elections ―the first inclusive elections with the participation of all major political parties in Iraq― against the will of the US and lost this nomination after a political battle. Second event is when the Shiat Iran-supported Mehdi Army was finally conquered. And the third very important event when the Shiat stronghold Albasra was submitted to the rule of law and the Iraqi government and "liberated" from Iran-supported Shiat militias, and its inhabitants went to streets celebrating their "liberation".

Furthermore, the clearer evidence of Iran's loss in Iraq is the very recent official information talking about Iranian government's attempts to bribe the Iraqi Members of Parliament not to vote for the Iraq-US strategic treaty and security treaty. This is very conclusive about the fact of Iran's lack of means to influence the Iraqi decision and to affect significantly the Iraqi political situation. In addition, it clearly shows how Iran goes pathetic in terms of getting influence in Iraq and securing its interests there, because Iran realizes its loss in Iraq.

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