US, Saudi Arabia doing utmost to ‘split Iraq away from Iran’: Analyst

By: micheal springmann

The United States and Saudi Arabia are doing their utmost to drive a wedge between Iraq and Iran, turning the former into an “American vassal state,” according to a former US diplomat in the Arab kingdom.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi Kadhimi plans to travel to Iran, Saudi Arabia and the US next week with the declared aim of discussing cooperation in various fields.

This will be Kadhimi’s first foreign tour since becoming prime minister on May 7, after the Iraqi parliament approved a new government following nearly six months of political wrangling and protests demanding economic reforms.

“In my view, the trip of the new Iraqi prime minister to meet with Iranian officials and then going to Saudi Arabia and then later on to the United States on the surface looks good. It looks like good diplomacy. But on the other hand, I don’t think you can read too much into this beyond the fact that the United States and Saudi Arabia are doing their best to split Iraq away from Iran,” Michael Springmann, a Washington-based author and former US diplomat in Saudi Arabia, told Press TV in a phone interview on Saturday.

“I think the whole operation is designed to weaken Iraq, to turn Iraq into more of an American vassal state than it’s been in the past, at least in the last few months, there’s been evidence of Iraq being sick and tired of being occupied by the American armed forces and wanting to maintain the sovereignty of their country…. So I think the whole thing is going to be counterproductive and will not produce any effects whatsoever, if it comes to that,” he underlined.

Kadhimi after ‘balance’ in ties

Kevin Barrett, an author, journalist and radio host with a Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic Studies, also told Press TV that the Iraqi premier intended to create a “balance” in political and economic relations between Baghdad, Washington and Riyadh.

“I assume that what he’s trying to do is to achieve a kind of balance and try to get the Americans and the Saudis to back off a bit from their bad behavior, and in return, giving them a little bit of an entry in economic projects and so on like that. At least that’s probably what he’s trying to do with the Saudis but whether that will work is an open question,” Barrett said.

“In the US case, they’re trying to maintain the hold of this completely illegal occupation that was created not to stabilize Iraq, but rather to destabilize Iraq to take down the achievements of the very dubious dictator Saddam Hussein who at least had largely eliminated corruption except for within his own family, and he had succeeded in building a modern infrastructure for Iraq,” he added.

Washington and Riyadh have long been the main beneficiaries of mayhem in Iraq, where they have sought to bolster remnants of Daesh alongside other terrorist outfits.

Unrest and insecurity serves the US goal to extend and justify its protracted military stay in Iraq, which is staunchly opposed by the Iraqi people. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, sees Takfiri groups as its best hope to wield influence in Iraq and prevent the empowerment of real stakeholders in the country.

Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces led by the United States from the country.

The vote followed the assassination of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, along with the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and their companions in a US airstrike authorized by President Donald Trump near Baghdad International Airport two days earlier.

Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a withdrawal plan.

Iraqi resistance groups have vowed to take up arms against US forces if Washington fails to comply with the parliamentary order calling for the expulsion of US troops.

The US has so far refused to withdraw its troops, with Trump threatening to seize Iraq’s oil money held in bank accounts in the United States.

Source: Press Tv

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