News : Middle East

Iraq Crisis Developments

While some Iranian officials are trying to use the crisis in Iraq to extract leverage from the US, others are employing it to gain more political leverage against the US. Supreme Leader Khamenei took to Twitter to further spread Iranian conspiracy theories suggesting that Western powers are behind the ascendance of ISIS amidst the broader uprising of opponents of the Maliki regime in Iraq.

Persistent Questions Regarding US Policy on Iraq

The fact that Iran’s military efforts are now divided between Syria and Iraq suggests that these policies may actually undermine Iranian ambitions in the long term, but only if Iran does not receive substantial outside support to help it resolve these conflicts in its favor. This gives an air of tremendous importance to the fact that some US officials are publicly considering the prospect of coordinating with Iran on intervention in Iraq. 

House Speaker John Boehner recently weighed in on this topic to say that such coordination should “absolutely not” take place. "I can just imagine what our friends in the region, our allies, would be thinking by reaching out to Iran at a time when they continue to pay for terrorism and foster terrorism,” the Republican congressman told reporters. 

Of course, some of those allies have already made it clear what they are thinking. Israel is predictably worried about the possibility of such cooperation, mainly because they fear that it may lead to a softening of US policies towards Iran. Israeli officials recognize the expanding sphere of Iranian influence in the Middle East, but according to Thomson Reuters, they are generally less concerned about this idea of “global jihad” than they are about the possibility of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. 

Iraq: Nouri al-Maliki's rivals campaign to replace him

BAGHDAD (AP) — With the country in turmoil, rivals of Iraq's Shiite prime minister are mounting a campaign to force him out of office, with some angling for support from Western backers and regional heavyweights.

On Thursday, their effort received a massive boost from President Barack Obama.

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