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Politics How worrisome is Iranian control of Iraq for the US?

22:58  08 december  2021
22:58  08 december  2021 Source:   thehill.com

What Russia, China, Iran Want in Afghanistan When U.S. Troops Leave

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One source said US forces have seen "indications" of preparations by militias and called the entire situation " worrisome ". At the same time, the CNN sources said there have not been signs that a final decision has been made about a possible attack. Despite this, US forces in the region have reportedly been brought to readiness in case an attack takes place The attack was reportedly expected to be either retaliation for the murder of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November, or an act of revenge on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of IRGC General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq .

Notice how influential Iraq are. Iran needs to control Iraq , or else it’s not possible to have any acces to their prime allies, aka Syria and Lebanon. The US spent more than 1.000.000.000.000$ and lost 4.500 men invading Iraq , while in the end, Iran was the only one who won. That is what I call a great foreign policy. I really feel sorry to see Iraq being this weak. Yet, I have to admit that this is not Iran ’s fault only, but also it is the Iraqis who did not stand against the Iranian intervention for 15 years, and kept electing politicians who serve Iran and care nothing about Iraq . 2018 elections pulled the carpet from

One reason Iran can play hardball in nuclear negotiations is that they perceive America's willingness to abandon Iraq as a sign of weakness to take advantage of, demanding maximal sanction concessions with minimal reciprocity. There is something unseemly about the world's superpower begging a third-rate Islamist regime to accept hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for guaranteeing them a military nuclear capability with international legitimacy in less than 10 years. If you don't believe me, just read the text of the Obama administration's Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

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  Iran nuclear talks to resume in Vienna amid muted hopes VIENNA (AP) — Negotiators gathered in Vienna on Monday to resume talks over reviving Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, with hopes of quick progress muted after the arrival of a hard-line new government in Tehran led to a more than five-month hiatus. The remaining signatories to the nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — Iran, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain — will convene at the Palais Coburg, the luxury hotel where the agreement was signed six years ago. The talks come as Austria remains locked down over the coronavirus, which start a week earlier over a surge in cases.

Following the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) into northern Iraq in mid-2014, Iran began to provide military aid to counter the militant advance.

When the United States invaded Iraq 14 years ago to topple Saddam Hussein, it saw Iraq as a potential cornerstone of a democratic and Western-facing Middle East, and vast amounts of blood and treasure — about 4,500 American lives lost, more than trillion spent — were poured into the cause. Men suspected of fighting for the Islamic State, detained in a makeshift courthouse in Qaraqosh, near Mosul.Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times. But Iran never lost sight of its mission: to dominate its neighbor so thoroughly that Iraq could never again endanger it militarily

How worrisome is Iranian control of Iraq for the US? © Getty Images How worrisome is Iranian control of Iraq for the US?

A case in point is that Iranian-controlled militias are attacking American bases in Iraq with impunity. It is evident that the Biden administration will not use military force to stop Iran's nuclear program. Iran's goal is to have a nuclear umbrella to make it invulnerable to attack, and to create a permanent Iranian proxy next door in Iraq - bringing it one step closer to destroying Israel. Just this week, Iranian Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi, spokesperson for Iran's armed forces, said, "We will not back off from the annihilation of Israel, even one millimeter. ... We want to destroy Zionism in the world."

Naysayers claim that any kinetic response would draw us into more conflict in Iraq, but the opposite may be closer to the truth. Iran backs down when America shows strength. When America assassinated Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran's most notorious terrorists, the Iranian response was muted. This, despite the hand-wringing of those who called it "reckless."

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In 2020, Iraq voted to ask the United States and its coalition members to withdraw all of their troops from the country,[2] with U . S . President Trump asserting that sanctions will be imposed against Iraq if the United States ' troops were forced to exit Iraq .[3] Meanwhile, Iraq has prepared a mechanism for the withdrawal of coalition troops from the country and. Faced with the loss of northern Iraq after non-Barzani Kurds seized control of a key road leading to the Iranian border in early September and ambushed and massacred Iraqi troops on September 10 and September 12, Qasim finally ordered

Iran - Iraq War, (1980–88), prolonged military conflict between Iran and Iraq during the 1980s. Open warfare began on September 22, 1980, when Iraqi armed forces invaded western Iran along the countries’ joint border, though Iraq claimed that the war had begun earlier that month, on Long-standing territorial disagreements between Iran and Iraq were reignited and remained a source of tension throughout the 1970s. With Iraq ’s new Baʿath regime facing instability at home, its de facto ruler, Saddam Hussein, conceded some of the country’s claims in 1975 in exchange for the cessation

The Middle East is a notoriously challenging place to predict outcomes, and any action can backfire. American strategic interests are a game of benefit and risks. But by not responding to Iranian attacks against American bases, international shipping, or against our allies, we make the world a more dangerous place. American allies worldwide lose confidence in the U.S. as a reliable friend.

But does America need to have a presence in Iraq to advance its security interests? What does the U.S. get - and what would it lose - if it abandons Iraq as it did Afghanistan?

According to David Pollack of the Washington Institute, there are many reasons the U.S. should stay in Iraq: "A host of crucial multilateral interests are baked into the U.S. presence, from keeping the Islamic State down to protecting vulnerable regional allies, to preventing Iran from taking Iraq's oil revenues."

In addition, ISIS is waiting in the wings in Iraq, and Iranian control of Iraq would destabilize a vital American ally in Jordan. If Jordan falls and Iraq is under Iranian control, Israel will strike in Iraq, as it does today in Syria, to prevent arms shipments. This would increase the chance of a regional war. After the Afghanistan withdrawal, the U.S. has become dependent on a strong Israel, especially for intelligence. Lastly, Iranian control of Iraq could siphon off Iraqi oil for Iran's benefit, supplying needed revenue to Iran's conventional and nuclear arms machines.

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The US had little interest in Persian affairs, while US as a trustworthy outsider did not suffer. The Persians again sought the US for help in straightening out its finances after World War I. This mission unlike the last was opposed by powerful vested interests and eventually it was withdrawn with its task incomplete. Until World War II, relations between Iran and the United States remained cordial. As a result, many Iranians sympathetic to the Persian Constitutional Revolution came to view the US as a "third force" in their struggle to expel British and Russian dominance in Persian affairs.

It is true that Iraq was the aggressor but after Iraq was done her offensives after the first few years that Iran refused to make peace and battered her inexperienced forces against the Iraqis for six years! Admittedly it sometimes came close to breaking the line but the casualties were always high and brutal. What is worse is that Soleimani’s death has helped clear a path for the resurgence of ISIS. There is a fundamental ideological difference between ISIS and Iran , but now the focus of hate is solely on the U . S . This leaves room for ISIS to regroup. Many people in Iraq suffered greatly at the hands of

Iranian domination of Lebanon, Yemen and Syria will pale when compared to turning Iraq into a permanent Iranian proxy. Only conquering Saudi Arabia and taking over Islam's most holy sites of Mecca and Medina would outshine a Persian satrapy of Iraqi Arabs.

Iran's attempted assassination of the Iraqi prime minister this fall echoed the Iranian-directed assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri in 2005. This year's assassination attempt was a clear signal to both America and Iraq that Iran lays claim to be the ultimate power in Mesopotamia, demonstrating U.S. power's impotence to the world.

The U.S. has failed the test with its non-response to this assassination attempt; the Iranian drone attack on Saudi Arabia's oil fields; Iran's attack on international shipping in the Persian Gulf; and the recent attack on the American base in Al-Tanf, Syria, a strategic corridor to impede Iranian precision-guided missiles entering the Levant.

Although withdrawal is cheered by America's progressives and isolationists, this lack of action can lead to more threats against American interests. The small American presence in Iraq and Syria, numbering around 3,000 troops, has disproportionate leverage for American interests. Over the past couple of years, American casualties in Iraq and Syria have been few, allowing us to minimize the arc of Iranian expansion at a relatively small cost. In the aftermath of Afghanistan and the abandonment of the Bagram air base, these small forces are especially valuable.

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But is America willing to pay the price to keep Iraq out of Iranian orbit? And are Iraqis interested in Iran controlling their lives?

According to Hussain Abdul-Hussain, Washington bureau chief of Kuwaiti daily Al-Ras, "Iraq's top Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali Sistani, last month called for the disbanding of all militias. This would involve the state disarming the pro-Iran Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). In turn, this would neuter Tehran's most reliable partner in Iraq, Kataeb Hezbollah, the most dangerous alternative to state power in the country."

Iraq is a mess, but it does have relatively free elections. After this year's parliamentary election, when the Iranian-sponsored Fatah party lost decisively, they created chaos by claiming the election was stolen and activating their militias. The problem is that most Iraqi political parties have their own militias. That won't dissuade Iran from threatening Iraq. Iran's attempted drone assassination of the Iraqi prime minister drew a muted response from U.S. and European diplomats, who care primarily about the nuclear negotiations with Iran. This could signal Iran to up the ante in both hegemony and negotiations.

Liberal internationalists in the Biden administration put diplomacy first, which can be a legitimate strategy. But they also must realize that to be perceived as more than a paper tiger, you need staying power in Iraq and a credible threat of force in the case of Iranian nuclear weapons. A few thousand non-combat U.S. troops afford disproportionate influence in Iraq, advancing American interests. They should not be withdrawn.

Dr. Eric R. Mandel is director of the Middle East Political Information Network (MEPIN). He regularly briefs members of Congress and their foreign policy aides, and is the senior security editor for the Jerusalem Report/Jerusalem Post.

Nuclear Iranian-The 2015 Agreement Soon "Empty Shell", says E3 .
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This is interesting!