NOT long after Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi concluded his statement on his country’s “commitment to US sanctions on Iran in the interest of Iraqis,” the Iranian front went up in flames with negative attitude towards Baghdad. It looks like Tehran raised the slogan, ‘restoring everything to the way they were in 2013,’ when it commanded Nour Al-Maliki to open the doors for DAESH to invade about a third of Iraqi territories and then declare the so-called Islamic State. It seems the Iraqis’ loyalty to Iran is evaporating.
A week after that wave, it seems the Iraqi prime minister succumbed to pressure from militias. He said his statement was “misunderstood” and that “Iraq will not use dollars in transactions with Iran,” meaning he reversed his earlier position within a short span of time. He added he is in favor of whatever serves the “interest of Iraqi people.” Apparently, the people’s interest is weaker than media distraction. It was a clear renunciation of US support for the Iraqi government since 2003.
Al-Abadi is forgetting that his authority over Iraq will not see the light of day, and he would not have come back from exile were it not for the United States which led the operation to liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein. Conquering the Iranian toy — the so-called DAESH — would not have been possible if the US Army and international coalition did not carry out the basic task. The cause of the current political crisis is Tehran whose political affiliates suffered massive defeat in the last elections as the majority chose Arab strength as an alternative to the Iranian masquerade.
These facts should not be missed by decision makers who are aware that there is no way for them to oppose the United States at a time they do not possess even a tenth of the power of the European Union. The union followed the sanctions so that their companies will not lose the US market, instead of holding on to the limited Iranian market. They are fully aware that they do not have the volume of the Russian economy. Despite Russia’s strength, it could not stand against the US.
It is not prudent to move behind partisan slogans because they have platforms for strengthening people’s nerves, while leaders lead countries based on reality. If Tehran is beating the drums of challenge, it knows well that its options are very bitter — either it relinquishes terrorist projects in return for the international market or continue to commit suicide.
If Al-Abadi is gambling on contingency allies such as Turkey, he is running away from the truth because Ankara, which is currently raising the slogan of challenging Washington, knows very well that it is heading towards a dead-end. In this case, he should go further than reading the report of the Turkish Treasury Advisor about the net and aggregate external debts which increased by 229 percent since the rule of the Justice and Development Party started in 2002. These debts reached $438 billion at the end of 2017. He will then learn that the policy of Ottoman slogans is nothing more than an iota of ash in the eyes and that the Turkish financial crisis will worsen in the coming months.
Iraq’s exit from the international community to punish Iran is tantamount to committing suicide. If the objective is to maintain leadership of a faltering government, Al-Abadi has a clearer model in Lebanon where the Hezbollah is preventing formation of the government to maintain constitutional chaos.
All of this is for Al-Abadi not to let Iraq suffer a holocaust just to satisfy Iran’s agents; because it will lose hope that peace and security will return as long as Baghdad remains a tool in the hands of Tehran, among the tools of terrorism and blackmailing the world through which it is losing one country after the other.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times