US-Iranian Conflict of Interests Impedes Iraqi Government Formation

US-Iranian Conflict of Interests Impedes Iraqi Government Formation

Thursday, 6 September, 2018 - 10:45
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaks during a ceremony in Najaf, Iraq January 7, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
Baghdad- Hamza Mustafa
Iraq’s parliament gave winning parliamentary blocs until September 15 to name candidates for the federal republic’s top three posts-- president, prime minister and parliament speaker.

According to a well-known Iraqi politician, the United States and Iran have gone to unprecedented lengths to sway the situation in their favor.

Legal adviser Ahmed Abadi told Asharq Al-Awsat that the national constitution does not explicitly provide that the parliamentary majority bloc must be declared in the first-convened House of Representatives session.

Abadi said that “Article 76 provides a 15-day window for the President of the Republic--as of the date of electing the parliament speaker and their deputies-- to assign the majority bloc representative to form the council of ministers.”

He said that limiting the presentation of parliamentary majority bloc to the first session came as an effect of the Federal Supreme Court recommendation, and not as a constitutional stipulation.

“The American-Iranian conflict has cast a shadow over the process of forming the Iraqi government,” an Iraqi politician speaking under the condition of anonymity told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“US and Iranian parties interfered in details related to forming the largest parliamentary bloc, through practicing pressure against masses and political figures.

“In past times, back when the Shiite house was unified, the task of Americans and Iranians was much easier than this time,” he adds.

The politician goes on to explain that during the Obama administration era there was less interest in micro interference, allowing for unconstrained Iranian meddling.

“Today it is quite different, American pressure today supersedes Iranian pressure,” he said.

The source pointed out that “while the US insists on Haider al-Abadi returning as prime minister, Iranians have become completely invested in ensuring that the next prime minister is not hostile to Iranian interests.”

Abadi has lost popularity within Tehran circles after his faltering position from US sanctions on Iran, which ultimately fell in favor of US interests over his Iran favorability.

More so, Abadi is going after Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces leaders, first off by forcing the resignation of PMF Chairman Falih Alfayyadh.

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