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Re: FOR QUICK COMMENT - IRAQ - U.S. and Arab Allies Target Iran

Released on 2012-08-05 16:00 GMT

Email-ID 1730613
Date 2011-03-03 23:24:56
First, the whole idea that Iran wants to destabilize Iraq is based on
certain conditions in which Iran is loosing and needs to hit back at the
U.S. That has long ceased to be the case. Iran is not losing and for it to
win it needs a stable Iraq where the Shia dominate and the Sunnis remain
marginal players.

Second, we are not saying U.S. wants govt collapse in Iraq. But if
al-Maliki, Shia , and the Iranians are feeling the heat there then unrest
works to the Saudi advantage and to a certain extent (assuming it can be
managed) works to the American benefit as well. Neither wants Iran
comfortable to where it can continue to keep pushing deeper and deeper
into the Arab world. The way to prevent this is to keep Iran struggling in

On 3/3/2011 5:19 PM, Reva Bhalla wrote:

Iran destabilizing Iraq works against US
now all of a sudden this is saying US destabilizing Iraq works against
that's a giant contradiction that can't be looked over. It's hard to
see the US pushing for Sunni-led riots and govt collapse in iraq when it
is just a few months away from complete withdrawal.
what are allawi's other motives? how did those other resignations fit
in? do we have any insight on who allawi has been talking to recently
and what he's thinking?


From: "Kamran Bokhari"
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2011 4:12:47 PM
Subject: Re: FOR QUICK COMMENT - IRAQ - U.S. and Arab Allies Target Iran

Yes, the U.S. may not be involved. But the Iranians don't want
instability either. They want U.S. forces out so they can do as they
please. So, Allawi upsetting the government undermines Iranian
interests. They need Iraq to be calm so that they can try and take
advantage of the opportunities on the other side of the PG.

On 3/3/2011 5:03 PM, George Friedman wrote:

What you are saying here that the United States wants to destabilize
Iraq in order to block Iran. I do not think this is US policy. It
may be a Saudi idea, but the idea that the United States has reached
the point that it wants instability in Iraq just isn't there yet.
What Allawi does or doesn't do is not an indicator of what the United
States is planning. The American view is that the more instability
there is in Iraq increases Iranian power because the U.S. is not in a
position to step in and stabilize the situation. Even more important,
the United States has 50,000 troops there and does not want them
targeted by Iranian militias. So I don't think you can move from
Allawi (an increasingly irrelevant figure) acting in a certain way and
U.S. policy.

On 03/03/11 15:39 , Reva Bhalla wrote:

have a lot of questions, main one at the end. i just dont see how
the US would want to create a crisis in Iraq with the sunnis leading
the unrest when it's trying to withdraw


From: "Maverick Fisher"
To: "Analyst List"
Sent: Thursday, March 3, 2011 3:11:35 PM
Subject: FOR QUICK COMMENT - IRAQ - U.S. and Arab Allies Target Iran


Iyad Allawi's decision not to participate in a body designed to
foster the inclusion of Sunnis in the Iraqi government could create
problems for Iran.

Allawi's Decision and Iran's Challenge


Iyad Allawi, the head of al-Iraqiyah bloc, the leading party
representing Sunni interests, announced March 2 that he would not
lead the proposed National Council for Strategic Policies (NCSP).
The NCSP had been intended to give Sunnis more of a stake in Iraq's
Shiite-dominated government. The move need to explain in this
summary in what way this is bad for Iran, ie. what is the effect of
Allawi not playing ball. otherwise it sounds a bit contradictory
comes as Iraq -- like many other countries in the region -- faces
protests seeking better governance. Allawi's move to exploit the
unrest probably is a i would say 'could be.' we tend to give the US
credit for a lot of moves in iraq but im not always convinced US is
scheming these things every time. way for the United States and
Saudi Arabia to weaken the Iranian position in Iraq.


Former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a Shi'i who leads
the centrist overwhelmingly Sunni party al-Iraqiyah, announced March
2 that he is no longer interested in leading the National Council
for Strategic Policies (NCSP).

Allawi's move comes amid protests in Iraq like those sweeping many
other countries in the region demanding reform. It the move? weakens
the Shiite-led al-Maliki government how?, thereby putting Iran on
the defensive in an area it had considered locked down in its
struggle with the United States and its Gulf Arab allies. This means
Iran will have fewer resources to devote to stoking unrest in other
theaters like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Just a few weeks before popular unrest swept through the Arab world,
Iran was able to solidify its interests in Iraq via the installation
of the strongest Shiite-dominated government in Iraq in modern
times. As protests gathered steam in Egypt, Tehran then engineered
the toppling of the pro-Western, pro-Saudi Saudi-backed government
in Lebanon huh? that happened before the Egypt protests. and though
iran likely had a hand in it through hezbollah, wouldn't necessarily
say they alone engineered it. And now, with protests spreading
throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the Islamic Republic sees an
opportunity to project power across the Persian Gulf into the
strongest bastion of pro-western Arabs.

The United States and its Arab allies, and especially Saudi Arabia,
greatly fear Iran's potential moves in the Gulf Arab states. U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said March 2 that Iran is
directly or indirectly communicating with opposition groups in
Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen in an attempt to influence the outcome of
events, and that in response the United States is making diplomatic
and other contacts of its own with opposition groups across the
Middle East and North Africa. This is the first public
acknowledgment by the US that Iran has a hand in the regional

But Riyadh and Washington have few good counters to Tehran.
Sectarian demographics coupled with the general demand for democracy
works against the United States and Saudi Arabia. More promising
would be using the regional unrest as an opportunity to stir up the
Iranian opposition Green Movement and Iran's ethnic minorities,
especially the Baluchi-Sunnis, to create unrest in Iran. need to
explain the BUT here -- attempts to do so in the past didnt really
get anywhere. The best, most practical, option, however is
undermining Iranian interests in Iraq.

Iraq currently faces several challenges that the United States and
Saudi Arabia could exacerbate. Protesters demanding that the
Shiite-dominated government do a better job are creating unrest in
Iraq. Appointments to head the security ministries in Iraq's new
government have not been finalized. And the perennial problem of the
Sunni role in post-invasion Iraq also remains.

The NSCP, designed to give Sunnis more of a stake in the
Shiite-dominated post-Baathist republic and thus remove the
incentive for insurgency, was proposed to help settle this last
question. Allawi's announcement that he is no longer interested in
leading the NCSP deals a strong blow to efforts to get Sunnis to buy
in to the new government. this is confusing. we're talking about the
US/Saudi interest in getting the sunnis a stake. then Allawi is
going against that goal by not allowing the sunnis to get a stake.
need to explain this disconnect Allawi is simultaneously working to
exploit the intra-Shiite dynamic to his advantage still unclear what
Allawi's strategic aim is. that really needs to be explained up
front. To this end, he is reaching out to top Iraqi cleric Ayatollah
Ali al-Sistani, and more important, to radical Iraqi Shiite leader
Muqtada al-Sadr. Allawi hops al-Sadr will have to speak against the
government to placate his followers, who are largely poor and fed up
with the Iraqi governments' failure to deliver stability and
propserity. To this end, Allawi hopes to tap into al-Sadr's desire
to become the most powerful Shiite bloc in Iraq. in other words
allawi is using sadr to amplify the protests? can that be
explained/written more clearly

While Allawi's bloc says it will continue to remain in parliament,
its moves on the NCSP and its overtures to al-Sadrites weaken the
Iraqi government by cutting into its Sunni support and potentially
dividing the Iraqi Shia. point needs to be waaay up front Washington
and Riyadh probably have been could be encouraging Allawi to
undermine the al-Maliki government, because this by extension
weakens Iran's hand. Their ultimate goal is shaking Iran's
confidence that it has Iraq locked down and thus forcing Tehran to
back off from its moves to promote instability in the Gulf Arab
countries, or at least forcing Tehran to the negotiating table.

There are limits though to this strategy, however. Al-Sadr is
aligned with Tehran, making him unlikely to jeopardize the Iraqi
Shiite unity Iran benefits from in pursuit of his own partisan aims.
And this means is that the Sunnis will have to emerge as the
vanguard of the unrest. but that creates a HUGE problem for the US
as well when the US is trying to withdraw from Iraq? that's the big
and obvious question. so how does this necesarily work against Iran?
i think we're taking a leap here in assuming this is part of a big
US-Saudi plot to weaken Iran. where do the resignations fall in as
well? The Iranians, however, are hoping that even the Sunnis will
not want to tamper too much with the fragile Iraqi state, thereby
helping Tehran maintain its interests in Iraq.

Maverick Fisher
Director, Writers and Graphics
T: 512-744-4322
F: 512-744-4434


George Friedman

Founder and CEO


221 West 6th Street

Suite 400

Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: 512-744-4319

Fax: 512-744-4334



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