In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Seyed Razi Emadi referred to the appointment of the president and prime minister after about a year of political deadlock in that country and noted: Considering that one of the most important obstacles in the path of electing the president was the differences of the Kurds with each other, now it seems that they put aside their differences in this regard and reached an agreement. The Democratic Party, which received almost twice as many votes as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, in the 2021 elections, wanted the presidency. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan also considers the presidency as its right, because after the downfall of the Baathist regime in Iraq, the president has always been elected from among members of that union.
He added: The Democratic Party did not present a candidate and the only competition was between the Patriotic Union. Actually, “Barham Saleh” and Dr. “Abdul Latif Rashid” were present in that competition, and finally Rashid was elected. After that, the reaction of members of the Democratic Party, including Masoud Barzani and Nechirvan Barzani, was congratulating Rashid and wishing him success, showing that they had resolved their differences.
The expert on West Asia affairs stated that the Shiite coordination framework has conducted constructive negotiations with Kurdish groups, adding: The negotiations showed that the coordination framework calls for Iraq to overcome the one-year deadlock, and this has led to the formation of an understanding between Iraqi groups, including Shiites and the Kurds. Such an understanding had done before with “Mohammed al-Halbusi”, the speaker of the parliament, a Sunni, to clarify the duties of the positions of power.
Emadi explained: In fact, when Halbusi resigned from his position as the speaker of parliament and this resignation was reviewed in the parliament, it was with an aim of evaluating the voting of members of the Shiite coordination framework. He became the speaker of parliament when the representatives of Sadr movement had 73 seats. With the change in the composition due to their resignation, Halbusi received a new vote of confidence and the coordination framework gave him the message that he has no problem with his chairmanship of the parliament and generally wants Iraq to overcome such a situation.
Saying that a three-way understanding has been formed between Shiites, Sunnis and the Kurds for Iraq to overcome the one-year challenge, he continued: This understanding showed itself in the election of the president and will also be in the case of the prime minister. Of course, regarding the formation of the cabinet, the situation will not be so simple.
The university professor stated that with the departure of Sadr movement from the parliament, an understanding was established between the Shiite groups, adding: the break in the understanding between the Shiites after that departure also depended on the behavior of the Sadr movement, because they resorted to street camping and finally came to the conclusion that even such measures will not lead to achieving their goals. After Ayatollah Haeri’s statement and Moqtada Sadr’s apology to the Iraqi people, they practically could not turn to street riots and it was considered a failed movement. Therefore, the work of the coordination framework had become easier.
Serious challenges facing future government
While Emadi stressed that Iraq’s problems are complex and numerous, he reminded: Iraq is involved in widespread corruption and power conflict, and its problems will not be solved simply by those understandings and will continue. At the same time, that country is also facing widespread dissatisfaction of the people, which is caused by the performance of the groups. Even if the government and cabinet are formed soon, the cabinet will have serious challenges.
According to the analyst of West Asia affairs, one of those challenges will be continuation of Sadr’s behavioral pattern. It seems that they will not simply allow the future government of Iraq to operate, and probably by mobilizing their forces, they will continue the chaos, street demonstrations and disturbance. They may not be active in the early months, but the slightest excuse will provide the basis for riots, and they will seize any opportunity.
He called widespread popular dissatisfaction as another challenge facing the future government of Iraq and added: We cannot expect that the problems of Iraq will be solved in the short term, as the government of Adel Abdul Mahdi was only able to stay in power for one year and was a victim of a conspiracy because he inherited problems of the past. This situation can also happen in the case of “Shia’ al-Sudani’s” government. This is because the people are dissatisfied and the opposition is ready to exploit those dissatisfactions.
Stating that foreign players are also seeking to create chaos in Iraq and use internal dissatisfaction, Emadi noted: What is currently taking shape in Iraq is not in their favor. In fact, neither “Abdul Latif Rashid” is a player who is desired by countries like Saudi Arabia or Turkey, nor “Shia’ Sudani” as the prime minister supported by the Shiite coordination framework is according to their wishes.
Grounds for more foreign intervention in Iraq
Emphasizing that such conditions provide the basis for more foreign intervention in Iraq, the university professor said: The US sent a congratulatory message and announced that it wants Iraq to overcome the current situation; but this is an official position and what will be applied will depend on the type of performance of the new government before the US military, the position of the resistance groups and the type of relationship with Iran. In addition, the demands of some domestic players who have an angle with the new government should also be taken into consideration.
He emphasized: Minimizing problems facing Iraq is a very difficult task for the new government and it requires the government’s serious focus on the problems. In addition, Iraq has faced serious security threats in the past years, which still exist. In fact, the government should try not to make the problems worse than they are, and then gradually take steps to solve them. In this situation, it will not be beyond the expectation that Iraq will witness street riots and demonstrations again.