Home News Middle East Does Iran Dominate Iraq’s Forthcoming General Election?

Does Iran Dominate Iraq’s Forthcoming General Election?

Sunni candidates, be they Islamists, nationalists, Ba’athists or secularists, claim that they want the elections delayed because they are concerned for their people’s safety and wellbeing. They want them to be able to freely choose the candidate best fit to defend their rights in the next parliament.

The Arab Weekly published an article that asks several questions: “Is this true? Should we be so naive as to believe that conditions in Sunni districts are going to magically improve if these politicians are elected? How will the life of a Kurdish citizen improve in the event of a victory by candidates from Kurdish parties? What kind of peace and prosperity will be introduced in the lives of Shia communities should Shia candidates win?”

The competing factions and sects in Iraq, all claim to be against sectarianism and the quota system. They all support a civil state built on equal and fair citizen rights. They eagerly defend Iraqi sovereignty and Iraq’s territorial unity.

Some call the elections in Iraq since 2005 “farces” — proven by the conditions in Iraqi cities and villages, that have prevailed since 2003.

It is believed that the common Iraqi folk do not understand the stakes regarding the timing of the elections. Ironically, the US Embassy in Iraq opposes the postponement of the elections. According to The Arab Weekly, the Americans “know that having elections after the disasters of the Islamic State and the independence referendum in Kurdish Iraq would be like flogging a dead horse.” Additionally, they say that by refusing to postpone the elections, the Americans are assisting the Iranian regime which, according to US President Trump, is the number one source of terrorism and instability in the region.

In a news conference, Huda Sajjad, a State of Law parliamentarian, recognized the Iranian presence in Iraq as de facto since 2003, and credits it with closing the ranks of Iraqi Shias. “Iran’s mediation in harmonising points of views inside the Shia house is normal,” she said. “Qassem Soleimani (Iran al-Quds commander) does not coerce anyone nor does he meddle greatly contrary to what’s being rumoured.”