Despite this congruence of interests, Washington and Tehran are still working at cross-purposes within Iraq. They both support Maliki, they both want the major parties to come together, but they are divided on the role of Allawi. They are also running up against the personal politics of Iraq’s leaders. Allawi and Maliki for example are both demanding to be premier, while the National Alliance does not trust Maliki. This outside influence, plus the shortsightedness of Iraqi politicians is a major reason why Iraq has no government months after the March 2010 elections. When one is formed, it will look a lot like the previous one, and be just as divided, unwieldy, and dysfunctional. How it’s made up will likely show which foreign power has more influence as well, Iran or the U.S.
Aswat al-Iraq, “Iran’s presence in Iraq relies on NC’s existence – Shiite source,” 7/17/10
Christie, Michael and al-Salhy, Suadad, “SCENARIOS-What is going on in Iraqi politics?” Reuters, 7/19/10
Dagher, Sam, “Iraq Weighs New Post to Help Form Government,” Wall Street Journal, 8/16/10
England, Andrew, “Deadlock in Baghdad as rivals stand firm,” Financial Times, 8/12/10
MEMRI Staff, “Divisions among Shi’a Could Prolong Discussion to Form a New Government,” MEMRI Blog, 6/25/10
Najm, Hayder, “al-maliki to bring washington and Tehran closer,” Niqash, 8/13/10