The Saudi-Iranian rapprochement and its regional implications:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iran had a hostile relationship that extended for long periods, the most important of which was the religious orientation at the forefront of the political scene in both countries, followed by several political and expansionist factors, as the effects of hostility began to become evident during the Iranian revolution in 1979. Both nation-states represent the two main Islamic sects, the Shiites. And the Sunnis, which contributed to fueling the dispute between the two countries. Both countries have supported opposing sides in various conflicts, including in Syria during its civil war and in Yemen as well as Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain.

The Arab Spring in 2011 caused political instability across the Middle East against the status quo. Iran and Saudi Arabia took advantage of this unrest to expand their influence, particularly in Syria, Bahrain and Yemen. In Bahrain, where Shiites protested against the Sunni royal family, Saudi Arabia sent troops to quell the uprising and blamed Iran for fomenting the unrest. After the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011. In Syria, Iran supported President Bashar al-Assad and provided him with military forces and financing to fight Sunni rebels. Saudi Arabia initially supported the rebel groups but later joined a US-led coalition formed to fight ISIS since 2014. When conflict between the Houthis and the government began in 2015 in Yemen, Saudi Arabia launched an intervention in hopes of restoring a government that had been toppled by the Houthi rebels – Iran’s allies.

In 2016, after a stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia executed prominent Shiite leader Nimr al-Nimr, a critic of the Saudi government. Rising tensions between the two countries escalated when a mob of Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad. The embassy building was set on fire with Molotov cocktails and petrol bombs. Another territorial rupture occurred in June 2017 when Saudi Arabia and its allies in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on Qatar. The pretext was that Qatar was very close to Iran and supported terrorism, allegations Doha denied. These links were later fixed in early 2021.

The history of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is one of increasing mutual suspicion. However, both countries may have realized that their rivalry hurt them more than their enemy, both politically and economically. Neither side could gain any real superiority over the other and perhaps this realization prompted them to seek a new stage in their relationship. In April 2021, Iran and Saudi Arabia held their first direct talks in Baghdad, likely with the tacit approval of the United States. Between April and September 2022, four rounds of talks were held, most of them mediated by Iraq and Oman but with no tangible result.

In March 2023, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to re-establish relations after four days of previously unannounced talks in Beijing. Tehran and Riyadh agreed to “resume diplomatic relations between them and reopen their embassies and missions within a period not exceeding two months.” This decision could have both regional and international implications as it marks a new phase in their relationship. The decisive indicator for the beginning of the new relations will be the efforts made in settling outstanding regional issues between the two powers. The most important factor emerging from the normalization of relations between the two arch-rivals is the mediation of China and the shifting of the balance of power in the Middle East from a US-centric to a now Chinese-dominated one. Many Western officials and analysts have expressed concern about both Beijing’s role and the risk that the Iranian government can use restored relations with Saudi Arabia to bypass intense US and European pressure related to its nuclear programs, suppression of domestic protests, and support for Russia in Ukraine. Although the China-brokered deal faces significant challenges, it could have significant implications for regional stability. It could lead to a reduction in tensions between the two countries and possibly pave the way for cooperation on regional issues such as the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. The deal indicates that both sides have made some progress in addressing critical areas of dispute. Saudi Arabia long ago restored normalized diplomatic relations based on an Iranian commitment to escalatory steps in Yemen. Restoring relations could be a prelude for Riyadh to even formally withdraw from Yemen.

However, it is important to note that there are still many challenges that must be overcome for this relationship to improve significantly and herald meaningful stability in the region. It is expected that this convergence may take some time to reach the stage of restoring confidence. Saudi Arabia in particular is likely to view the deal more as a hedging mechanism to protect itself from Iranian attacks than as a true strategic realignment. Iran’s leaders, for their part, want Riyadh to withdraw its support for the exiled Iranian opposition, thwarting mounting Western pressure by diversifying its relations with other Gulf monarchies. Saudi Arabia has been the only major steadfast. Finally, Tehran wants to neutralize potential Israeli cooperation with Arab states for a military attack on Iran. . It remains to be seen how much Iran can use Saudi Arabia to offset the sanctions – given that Riyadh is still pushing Europe and the US to put more pressure on Iran.

The deal signals China’s increased involvement in geopolitical challenges in the Middle East.

Chinese leaders understand that instability threatens important interests, particularly in the energy field. Riyadh, in turn, sees Beijing as an increasingly credible partner in countering US disengagement, but also as the only country with real leverage over Iran, which Saudi Arabia expects to exploit. China’s role in facilitating this agreement constituted a kind of real concern for Washington. This was largely intended by Saudi leaders, who hoped that the threat of growing Chinese influence would upgrade American security guarantees. There are wide prospects and fears for some, of the rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Time will ultimately tell the final lines but it is certainly a diplomatic, not a military, path.

Iran – Part III. After the Islamic Revolution

Iran – Part III. After the Islamic Revolution

  1. In 1979, the country formerly known as Persia became the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Islamic Revolution opposed the Western secular policies of the authoritarian Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, and after his overthrow the country is run by an authoritarian Islamic theocracy. The head of state is the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who exercises ideological and political control over the state, controls the armed forces and makes decisions on security and important issues of foreign policy.

The head of government and executive power is the president, who is elected by popular vote for a four-year term and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. There were regular elections in Iran after the Islamic Revolution and until the last presidential elections in June 2021 thirteen elections were held. The president’s power is curtailed by the Supreme Leader’s decisions, and the influence of Islamic clerics and conservatives in Iran’s coercive apparatus and judiciary.

Immediately after the Islamic Revolution, in November 1979, 52 American diplomats and citizens were taken hostage after a group of Iranian university students took control of the embassy in Tehran. A diplomatic confrontation followed for 444 days until the hostages were released on January 20, 1981. This crisis led to the severing of US-Iranian relations and the imposition of sanctions on Iran.

Since the Shah’s era, Iraqi-Iranian relations have witnessed border problems related to border demarcation, smuggling operations, sheep grazing, and so on. (We would like to draw attention to the fact that the smuggling route across the Iraqi-Iranian borders, especially across the borders of Diyala Governorate, is an old route and has evolved over time.) Things stabilized during the rule of President Abd al-Rahman Aref after his visit to Tehran in 1967, and after the 1968 revolution, things returned to a state of progress and decline.

In September 1980, relations witnessed a rapid escalation of border demarcation problems, accompanied by Iranian bombing of some border areas, especially in Diyala governorate, which led to Iraq launching a massive attack towards the Iranian borders. The Iran-Iraq war had multiple causes and included religious divisions, border disputes, and political differences. The protracted fighting continued for eight years and ended in 1988 with a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire, although normal diplomatic relations were resumed and troops were withdrawn in August 1990. The war was one of the most devastating conflicts of the late 20th century. Casualties on both sides are estimated at 500,000 with Iran suffering even greater losses. The war added to the spread of Iranian influence and ideology in neighboring countries.

After the Islamic Revolution, to enhance its ideology and influence, Iran supported armed organizations in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Hamas who are working against Israel. The United States designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in January 1984.

In 2015, Iran signed a nuclear deal negotiated with the six major world powers to benefit from uranium enrichment leading to a nuclear weapon. The United States canceled this agreement under the Trump administration in May 2018 arguing that the deal did not adequately limit Tehran’s nuclear program or address its missile program, human rights abuses, and support for terrorism. Washington reimposed sanctions as part of “maximum pressure” to change Tehran’s behaviour. In January 2020, Iran recalculated its strategy after a US strike killed Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. In 2021, the Biden administration launched a new diplomatic effort to get both Tehran and Washington to fully comply with the 2015 nuclear deal. The indirect talks began in the final months of former President Hassan Rouhani and have continued under current President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric who took office in August 2021, but negotiations collapsed in the fall of 2022.

In September 2022, protests erupted across Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was being held for indecent clothing. Unrest has been boiling over the years against the imposition of strict Islamic laws, the ongoing economic crisis, lack of freedom of expression, violation of women’s rights etc. and the death of the girl sparked the process.

The largest demonstrations in decades quickly evolved into calls for the overthrow of the supreme leader and an end to the Islamic Republic. Security forces responded with lethal force, killing at least 234 people, including 29 children. There were previous instances of unrest in Iran in 2009 when millions of people took to the streets after a disputed presidential election in 2017, and in 2019 due to economic hardship but the current unrest is the real revolution against the policies of the Islamic regime.

Needless to say, these protests have been fueled by Israel and other Western countries hostile to the power in Iran. The stalemate continues today and it is likely that the situation will not return to normal and there will be a regime change in Iran.

Iran – Part Two. Islamic revolution

In continuation of the discussion about the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will discuss in this part the Islamic Revolution with several focal points that formed the current face of the regime in Iran and contributed to the formation of the current political features in the region, and it is :

1- The Iranian Revolution of 1979, or the Iranian coup, was a series of events that led to the overthrow of the Pahlavi dynasty and is considered the pivotal year in the contemporary era for refocusing attention away from the Cold War era. The revolution affected the overthrow of authoritarian regimes in dozens of countries over the decades that followed, and unlike most other uprisings that toppled dictators, the outcome of the Iranian struggle was not the establishment of a liberal democracy but rather a new form of expansionist authoritarian regime in the region whose effects extended beyond the borders of the Islamic Republic. intellectually and politically.

  1. After the Iranian coup d’état in 1953, Reza Shah Pahlavi allied with the United States and the Western bloc to consolidate his rule in that period, and relied heavily on American support to remain in power for another 26 years. This led to the launch of the “White Revolution” and the dismissal of Parliament in 1963. It was the White Revolution that cheered many up and constituted a vigorous modernization program that overturned the wealth and influence of the landowners and clergy, further disrupted rural economies, and prompted rapid urbanization and Westernization which sparked series of concerns about democracy and human rights,

The program was economically successful, but the benefits in practice were not evenly distributed.

Opposition to the Shah’s policies intensified in the 1970s due to heavy government spending, high inflation, diminished iranian prchase power and low living standards.In addition to the economic problems and the increase in social and political repression by the Shah’s regime and the marginalization of the opposition parties, followed by political arrests and censorship on a large scale.

This feeling of disenfranchisement led to the movement of diverse segments of society, including secular thinkers, Shiite scholars and figures from the rural economic community on one platform under the populist influence of Ayatollah Khomeini. who was a former professor of philosophy in Ghavam, and was exiled in 1964 after he spoke frankly against the Shah’s alleged reforms at the time,

In the midst of the civil unrest, members of the National Front and the Tudeh Party also joined the scholars in broad opposition to the Shah’s regime.

Khomeini continued to preach in exile about the evils of the Pahlavi regime, accusing the Shah of irreligiosity and submission to foreign powers.

Which was reinforced at that time by the Shah’s dependence on the United States, his close relations with Israel and the Unstudied economic policies of his regime, which contributed to fueling the power of opposition discourse among the masses. The most widespread and most common slogan that united the various revolutionary parties and their supporters was “Let him (the Shah) go and then let it be a flood”.


  1. In January 1978, thousands of young students from religious schools took to the streets due to slanderous statements directed at Khomeini in a Tehran newspaper. They were joined by thousands of unemployed youth, accompanied with the shah being exhausted from cancer and stunned by the sudden escalation of open hostilities against him, he wavered between concessions and repression.

At that time many protesters were killed by government forces which led to martial law on 8 September and further killings.

In that period and during his exile, Khomeini coordinated the escalation of opposition, first from Iraq and after 1978 from France – demanding the Shah to step down.

In January 1979, the Shah and his family fled Iran, and the regency council established to run the country failed to function or control civil strife.

A crowd of more than a million people demonstrated in Tehran, proving a wide appeal to Khomeini, who arrived in Iran on February 1.

Ten days later, the Iranian armed forces declared their neutrality, practically overthrowing the Shah’s regime.


  1. On April 1, through a overwhelming ruling in the referendum, Khomeini declared Iran an Islamic Republic.

The clergy moved immediately to exclude their former intellectual left-wing nationalist ally from the position of power in the new regime and imposed a return to conservative social values.

The Family Protection Law (1967 and amended in 1975), which provided guarantees and rights for women in marriage, was declared invalid.

Revolutionary gangs stationed in mosques, known as komitehs, patrolled the streets to enforce Islamic codes of dress and behavior and administer impromptu justice to the imposed revolution.

The militias and the clergy did their best to suppress Western cultural influence. In the face of this persecution, many of the elites educated in the West fled the country.

These anti-Western sentiments eventually led to the taking of 66 hostages at the US Embassy in November 1979 by a group of Iranian protesters who demanded the extradition of the Shah, who was at the time undergoing medical treatment in America.

The Assembly of Experts formed by Khomeini ( al-Khabeerjan), dominated by the clergy, approved a new constitution through a referendum that gives broad powers to the leader, the first of which was Khomeini himself.



  1. From early 1979 to 1983, Iran remained in a “revolutionary crisis mode”.

After the autocratic monarchy was overthrown, the economy and the apparatus of government collapsed and the military and secular forces were in disarray.

However, by 1983, Khomeini and his supporters had crushed the rival factions, defeated the local insurgency and consolidated their power.

The major events that shaped the crisis and its revolution were the Iran hostage crisis, the Iran-Iraq war, and the presidency of Abu al-Hasan Bani Sadr through the elections.

There is a widespread belief that what began as an authentic, anti-dictatorial popular revolt soon turned into an Islamic fundamentalist takeover of power.

Khomeini was more of a spiritual leader than a ruler. Khomeini in the mid-1970s had never held public office, walking out of Iran for a decade and telling interviewees that “religious figures don’t want to rule.”

The most important bodies of the Iranian Revolution were the Revolutionary Council, the Revolutionary Guards, the Revolutionary Courts, the Islamic Republican Party, and the Revolutionary Committees.

At its core, the Iranian Revolution of February 1979 was a revolt of society against the state, which represented not just an ordinary dictatorship but an absolutist and arbitrary regime that lacked political legitimacy and social base in almost all parts of society and subsequently ended with a more tyrannical and dictatorial regime than before with boundless expansionist ambitions.


Iran is one of the oldest citadel of world civilization.It is located in Western Asia and is bordered by Iraq and Turkey to the west,Azerbaijan and Armenia to the northeast, by the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north , by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east and by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf to the south.It covers an area of 1.64 million square kilometers making it the 17th largest country and a population of 86 million. Historically a multi-ethnic country , Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic and religious groups with the largest of these being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis, and Lurs.. It has large reserves of fossil fuels, which includes second largest natural gas supply and third largest proven oil reserves .It’s geo strategic location makes it a  middle power and a major stake holder in the Middle East. It is a founding member of the United Nations, the ECO , the OIC and the OPEC.

Iran’s political history dates back to fourth millennium BC with the formation of Elamite kingdoms. It was first unified by Medes, an ancient Iranian people in the seventh century BC and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BC, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Persian Empire, which became one of the largest empires in the history. It fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC and was subsequently divided into many Hellenistic states, notable amongst which was the Sassanid Empire, a major world power for next four centuries.Arab Muslims conquered Sassanid Empire in seventh century which led to the Islamization of Iran. In the 15th century the native Safavids established a unified Iranian state and converted the country to Shia Islam. Under the reign of Nader Shah in the 18th century, Iran presided over the most powerful military in the world though by the 19th century conflicts with Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses, forcing the abdication of the ruler Reza Shah and accession to the throne by his son, Raza Pahlavi in September, 1941.

During Raza Shah reign , the Iranian oil industry was briefly nationalized under the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh. He became enormously popular in Iran after he nationalized its petroleum industry and oil reserves. He was deposed in 1953 Iranian coup d etat , an Anglo- American covert operation that marked the the first instance of the United States overthrowing a foreign government during Cold War. Under Reza Pahlavi Iran marked the anniversary of 2,500 years of continuous monarchy since the founding of the Persian empire by Cyrus. He also introduced the White Revolution, a series of economic, social and political reforms with the proclaimed intention of transforming Iran into a global power and modernizing the nation by nationalizing certain industries and granting women suffrage. The result of this program was a rapid modernization and economic growth at an unprecedented rate , fueled by Iran’s vast petroleum reserves.

A secular Muslim, Reza Shah gradually lost support from the Shia clergy of Iran as well as the working class, particularly due to his strong policy of modernization and secularization , conflict with the traditional class of merchants, relations with Israel and corruption issues surrounding himself , his family and the ruling elite.Various additional controversial policies were enacted , including the banning of the communist Tudeh Party and a general suppression of political dissent by Iran’s intelligence agency , SAVAK. According to official figures, Iran had 2,200 political prisoners in 1978. Other major factors contributing to strong opposition to the Shah among certain groups within Iran were US and UK support for his regime, clashes with Islamists and an increased communist activity. By 1979, political unrest transformed into a revolution which on January, 17 forced him to leave Iran .Soon thereafter, the Iranian monarchy was abolished and Iran was declared an Islamic republic.


Summary of the current Iraqi situation

The crisis situation in Iraq continues without a real way out of the current crisis, which brings the scene back to square one with the continuation of the existence of many proposed scenarios, which in total predict the existence of a real crisis. In this summary, we will try to summarize what is happening in the country today with several points:

1- Demonstrators stormed the Green Zone and the Republican Palace, and what happened during the storming of a clash between the armed factions, which showed the depth of the dispute between all the militias, and the breaking of the bone, so to speak, is only a simplified picture of the depth of the real dispute.

2- The resignation of the Shiite authority, Kazem Al-Haeri, in what was announced in the resignation statement, that it came because of his old age and illness. In fact, the resignation shook the political street entity, especially the Sadrist movement, headed by the leader of the movement Muqtada Al-Sadr, where the legitimate cover of the leader of the movement was derived from the presence of the Haeri authority, of course,

Al-Haeri’s resignation came to belittle the status of Najaf and the movement’s leader Muqtada Al-Sadr and direct his supporters to follow the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, especially after Al-Haeri recommended his followers to imitate the Sistani’s reference.

3- After more than ten months have passed since the elections without any signs of political consensus, which will lead us, sooner or later, to the collapse of the parliamentary system and the re-election, which will bring us back to the main point of contention.

4- The timing of the appearance of the audio leaks of many politicians and what was revealed in those recordings of two very important things for the Iraqi street. The first matter is the size of the real dispute between politicians of the same sect if the phrase is correct to use. The other matter is the extent of corruption practiced by the political class over the resources of the Iraqi people And they are betting on the silence of the people, which I do not think will last long after today.

Of course, the observer of the Iraqi affairs knows that the leaks that have been published are really intended to show the weakness of the current political class. The important question here is who owns all these recordings and ordered their publication.

5- The continuation of the political position of the coordination framework to proceed with the formation of the government without the participation of the Sadrist movement, which drew attention to the demonstrations that took place on the first of this month, which were not as large as the announcement circulated before.

6- The resignation of Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi, which in fact is a political maneuver with a redirection of attention to Parliament, whose matter has not yet been decided, and a kind of personal propaganda that the Speaker of Parliament currently needs.

7- The statements of the UN envoy to Iraq, Plasschaert, who declared the failure of the political class to manage the country in the required manner and to get out of the crisis

The solution and the anvil of division

The current situation in the country continues to deteriorate and reach a point of no return amidst many initiatives that are presented daily, which, so to speak, are patchwork solutions to address a worsening crisis left by the occupation 19 years ago, after supporters of the Sadrist movement went out to demonstrate and sit in at the end of last month, and we are witnessing  day after day a real blockage in the political scene in the country, which has become worn out in an unprecedented way,since the first day of the October Revolution, the political parties in the country have breathed their last.

Today, the gap between the political classes has reached a point of no return. For example, the Shiite political parties have reached a bone-breaking stage, amid an unprecedented case of the leader of the Sadrist movement, who came out with a reformist tone that transcended sectarian boundaries, and as we see today, the popularity of the leader of the Sadrist movement has grown. Significantly since the start of the demonstrations in the areas west of Baghdad and the north, that is, specifically between the Sunni provinces and Kurdish circles, which makes politicians really feel the danger of this situation, which has become a threat to their presence in the country.

As for the Sunni politicians, the moves are clear to establish a Sunni current outside the system of the current parliament speaker, Muhammad al-Halbousi, and this current’s attempt to control the House of Representatives.

With regard to Kurdish politicians, they are currently trying to appear more coherently than ever, at least in the media, in an attempt to monitor the situation and upcoming developments in a somewhat cautious manner.

Returning to Baghdad, the initiative put forward by Prime Minister Al-Kazemi failed amid the Sadrist movement’s refusal to attend, which constitutes the real basis for the solution. As for the Sadrist movement, until this moment, the true direction is unknown, which makes the current reading of the situation completely unclear.

We should also not forget many of the real questions that were directed to the Sadrist movement, because the service ministries during the past years had been in the current’s pocket, so where is the fight against corruption and the corrupt?!

Perhaps the real question that can be asked in view of what happened in the previous days, what if the demonstrations that took place were led by the October youth, would it have been possible for them to enter the House of Representatives and the celebration square and hold their sit-in there, or would they have faced death by the third party, as happened in Nasiriyah, Baghdad and others from the provinces.

As for returning to the Arab environment, which always appears with patchwork solutions to contain the current political class without considering the history of its ties, which is impossible to return to the embrace of the Arab, as they call it.

In conclusion, the use of the religious turban to lure people with resonant statements and trying to play with the people’s emotions will not continue and will be revealed sooner or later, which will lead to the uprooting of this distorted process of various shades.

Note: The Center will soon publish a study on the unprecedented events and developments in the Iraqi arena during the past days, and we will review the causes and results and a vision for the future.

Iraq and Biden’s visit

Biden’s visit to the Middle East comes as an embodiment of the consistent American strategic policy for our region, which he summarized as follows:

1/ Israel’s security

2/ Control and domination of oil, gas and energy sources in the region

3 / Minimizing (not ending) the Iranian role in the Arab region

Later, other objectives can be added to this strategic policy according to the development of the situation in the world and the region, which are:

1/ Putting pressure on the Arab Gulf states to increase their oil production and reduce their prices to compensate for the shortage of Russian oil and gas due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, which America is striving to prolong its duration to drain and destroy Russia

2/ The American fear of Russian and Chinese expansion in the region and filled with the American vacuum, which Biden admitted, saying, “We made a mistake when we neglected the Middle East.”

We will discuss in this study from Biden’s visit its impact on Iraq’s crisis situation along the line, and here we must mention the most important thing in this visit is what Biden personally announced linking Iraq to the electrical system of the Arab Gulf states through Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and here I want to clarify the following:-

1/ Why does America not obligate its major companies to reconstruct, rehabilitate and build the electrical stations that were destroyed by its military forces and missiles during its abhorrent, illegal, immoral occupation, contrary to the independence and sovereignty of states and contrary to human rights!!!! Instead of linking us once to Iran and at other times to the neighboring countries and the Gulf

2/ Why doesn’t America allow major companies from other countries to build and rehabilitate electrical stations in Iraq like what these companies did in Egypt!!!

3 / What will be secured from the Gulf connection is 1500 megawatts, while Iraq’s actual need exceeds (20) thousand megawatts, and thus it will be a temporary prosthetic solution and a media gain that is nothing but

4 / The Iraqi agreement on the electrical connection took place 4 years ago and did not advance a single step and remained ink on paper, because the economic, security and political decision is in the hands of Iran, which opposes and prevents any Iraqi rapprochement with the Arabs

5 / The connection requires infrastructure that can only be secured by exceptional efforts and continuous and continuous work from one year to a year and a half at least.

The most important question remains

Will Iran and its tails remain idle, and it is the one who considers Iraq’s need for electric power its important market and lung from which it breathes in order to obtain billions and to circumvent the international sanctions imposed on it, even if they are in fact formal sanctions?

In order to reach the truth and understand the Iraqi situation, in light of the violent waves of wishes for change in Iraq, it is necessary to answer the following questions:-

1/ Is America really dissatisfied or upset with what is happening in Iraq?? She is the one who founded and supervised the failed political process in it!! She is the one who has supported and supported the political parties and personalities of this process until now!!

2/ Does America really want a developed, prosperous, stable, sovereign, independent and democratic Iraq that will be a model in the Middle East….

We leave the answer to these questions for the days, and the silent majority has the final say in the end.

Summary of the Iraqi situation

Perhaps what the country is going through today from chaos and  state of political blockage, so to speak, and a collapse accompanied by great confusion at the internal level and in all directions, whether political, economic or service, until the situation today has reached a point that is difficult to cope with, which was imposed by the regional and international forces controlling the Iraqi situation  and which the association with them and the subordination to their desires led to the situation in which the country is living today.

Today, we see the resignation of the Sadrist bloc from Parliament after the failure of all dialogues between it and the other Shiite forces to name the largest bloc and pass it in the House of Representatives to form the new government. Here, the framework forces obtained an increase in the number of their deputies to be able to name themselves the largest bloc that will form a government in light of the Sadrist bloc’s threat to resort to demonstrations, which will lead to the inevitable clash that many forces have long threatened, and what will result from this clash are events that cannot be counted because The strength of the conflicting parties and the extent of this dispute,

As for the Sunni forces, as usual, they returned to fragmentation and liquidation of some of their elements through several methods, the most important of which is political money in a mean struggle over the so-called leadership of the Sunni component to achieve financial corruption gains.

Perhaps one of the most important suspicious deals that passed during the lifetime of this parliament is the Food Security Law, which expresses the extent of the political class’s disregard for the Iraqi citizen.

As for the Kurds, they succeed in reuniting them to negotiate with Baghdad as a single bloc, as they used to in the past, and the Iraqi army remains suffering from the domination of the political class on one hand, and facing terrorist challenges on the ground on the other, with deliberate neglect to give it a good budget that raises its combat and logistical capabilities and suits the challenges that it is dealing with on the ground.

It is worth noting the joint military exercise with the Saudi army, called (The brothers-1), which was announced briefly without any details. And here we do not mean the military details that is not acceptable to disclose.

As for the government, it forgets that it came as a caretaker government as a result of a youth revolution with clear and legitimate goals, despite what some try to accuse them arbitrarily, and we see it signing investment agreements, which are suspicious of many question marks and which are not constitutionally within its powers, not to mention the impossibility of implementing most of them for political and economic reasons.

And we do not forget the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia and then to Iran, which is seen by many as a political maneuver whose purpose may be to put forward the idea of ​​Al-Kazemi’s second term, specifically in conjunction with the mutual visits of the presidents and kings of neighboring countries and the leaks that talked about seeking to form an Arab NATO.

At the conclusion of all of the above, the Iraqi situation remains rapidly heading towards the unknown, and we will soon be at a crossroads from which it will be very difficult to return.

Summary of the Iraqi situation

Today, Iraq is living in a state of charged political stagnation in the shadow of a foggy situation over the Iraqi street. More than six months have passed since the parliamentary elections and after the results were announced, the parameters of the next government are still unknown, what many see as a bad omen in the coming days.

In short, the situation in which the country is living today is not a product of the moment, nor is it the product of the current circumstance only, but it carries within it many previous failures as well as the foundations that were built wrong, and the evidence for this is that the two most important elements of the system of government in the country represented in the constitution and institutions suffer from severe weakness In its main structure,

The constitution was written in confusing and unstable circumstances and according to the requirements of the interest at that time, and the institutions were restructured according to the partisan map of political alliances. They are no longer real institutions that work for the country, but are political and partisan quotas, and perhaps these two reasons are the basis of what the situation has reached today.

As for the axes on the ground today, they are listed, if you will, in the following way:

1- The inability of any of the political forces present on the ground to form the two-thirds plus in order to be able to form the government without the need for the blocking third.

2- The absence of any signs of agreement between the Shiite forces until this moment, despite the repetition of the scenario in previous elections, but it eventually resulted in an agreement between these forces. The current government and the formation of the government within 15 days, where he stressed that the Alliance to Save a Homeland is the largest bloc and that the reason for the delay in forming the government is to activate the blocking third, which predicts until the moment that no real agreement has been reached between the Shiite forces.

3- As for the Sunni forces, they suffer from fragmentation that appeared clearly in the previous period, specifically after the return of Sunni figures who were either outside the country or in prisons to the political scene, which makes it difficult to agree all these faces on the ground, even if these personalities do not have real weight. But in the end, this maneuver will bear fruit, even after a while.

4- With regard to the Kurdish forces, for the first time we see a clear disagreement and an open division among them with regard to the central government, and the matter became clearer with the negotiations we see individually for the Kurdish forces with the central government.

5- In conclusion, the continuous security breaches in large parts of the country, which take place as a kind of reminder between the parties that each party has the greatest authority in its position, as well as the attempt by the regional neighborhood to impose pressure cards on the ground, which makes the picture in the country the way we see it today.


1- In what is termed as largest military campaign since World War II , Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022. The attack marked a steep escalation of the Russo- Ukrainian War which began in 2014, in which Russia had annexed Crimea and Russian backed separatists seized part of the south- eastern Donbas region of Ukraine.In 2021,Russia began a large military build up along its border with Ukraine amassing up to 190,000 troops with tanks and arsenal .On 21 February 2022, Russia recognized the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, two self proclaimed states in Donbas controlled by pro- Russian elements. The invasion began on the morning of 24 February when Russian President Putin announced a special military operations to” demilitarize and denazify” Ukraine. In the ensuing attacks massive missiles and air strikes were launched all across Ukraine , including its capital Kyiv, followed by large scale ground invasion from multiple directions . In response Ukrainian President Zelensky enacted martial law and general mobilization while conscripting all male Ukrainian citizens in age bracket 16-60 for military service.

  1. At the start of the invasion, the northern front was launched out of Belarus, targeting Kyiv with a northeastern front directed at the city of Kharkiv; the southeastern front in two prongs was directed at the cities of Luhansk and Donbas. By middle April progress on southeastern front appeared to be impeded by the residual troops continuing to hold out in pockets . On 19 April Russia launched a renewed invasion referred to as an “ eastern assault” across a 300 miles front extending from Kharkiv to Donetsk and Luhansk, with simultaneous missile attacks again directed at Kyiv. In almost 70 days of the commencement of attack by Russia, the stipulated political and military objectives remain un achieved .
  2. The invasion has been widely condemned internationally as an act of aggression. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution demanding a full withdrawal of the Russian forces . The US and many European countries have imposed new sanctions on Russia which have affected its economy in particular the energy exports. It has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis, with more than 5.3 Million Ukrainians leaving the country and a quarter of the population displaced . Another serious implication of the Ukrainian war is the likely food shortages not only in Europe but the world over by non availability of Ukrainian and Russian wheat . The war has all the potentials of escalating into a ballistic and nuclear Russian President has repeatedly warned that any country trying to intervene in the Ukraine war will face a “ lightening fast response “.
  3. A dispassionate analyses of the Russian campaign plan would reveal many violations of the centuries old principles of war and strategy .The attack on Ukraine being launched after many months of preparations and from secure bases was expected to be juggernaut of the Russian might in the form of a swift and short campaign. The later manifestation proves other wise . The slow pace of progress is primarily due to three factors vis; divergent fronts spread over long distances and treacherous terrain, conscript Russian Army with little motivation for overwhelming Ukraine fighting with out dated vintage arms and equipment and unexpected resistance and resilience by the Ukrainian troops and people in fight for the Motherland. A due analysis of the world response to any act of aggression on such a large scale should have indicated to the Russian military planners a short and swift campaign with limited objectives . Contrarily the objectives selected were dispersed causing frittering away of Russian war efforts and creating a nightmare of logistic supplies to the fighting troops . In my reckoning, Putin should have gone for the liberation of eastern region of Donbas which had announced their independence and which could have received some moral justification . This should have been simultaneous with a large airborne attack on capital Kyiv to tackle Ukrainian centre of power and gravity . A regime change to pro- Russian political figure could have transformed Ukrainian resistance and will to oppose the Russians. There appeared no linkages between stated political objectives and the military campaign plan . A seizure of a large berth Ukrainian port in initial days was also a logistic prerequisite to sustain such large scale ground operations but did not figure out in initial attack plans. In midstream , Russia reorganized the command of its flagging offensive on 23 April selecting General Aleksandr V Dvornikov, accused of ordering strikes on civilians in Syria. The pace of Russian operations and the resilience displayed by the Ukrainians as a Nation aided by the supply of arms and equipment by the Europeans and US does not portray an immediate end to the war. The prolongation will have grave impacts on world economies , energy and food supplies and power equilibriums. The catastrophic possibility of a nuclear holocaust in the event of an extreme Russian frustration though a distinct possibility but can not be ruled out !

Ukraine, part two. Impact of the Russo-Ukrainian War on the Middle East

1.The populace  of Middle East ( ME)  along with other parts of the world are feeling the impacts of the war in Europe  on their food security, energy prices and job markets . They are divided between sympathizing with the  Ukrainians devastated by Russian aggression and how the world shied away when the same weapons were used in Syria and Libya few years earlier! In political terms, the crisis has not yet forced any significant realignments.   Rather, various countries including the Gulf and Israel are hedging their bets between the US and Russia and seeking to draw maximum benefits in key areas of interests.  However, long term sanctions on Russia will be challenging for ME countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE , all of whom have been diversifying their defense needs and seeking greater cooperation with Russia and China .

  1. Since the Presidency of Joe Biden, in January 2021, ME leaders have been working to reduce regional tensions by rekindling strained bilateral relations . Turkey for example has opened channels of communication with Egypt, UAE and Israel, there are talks between Qatar and Egypt and between Saudi Arabia and Iran. These governments do not want Russian invasion of Ukraine to invalidate these efforts and start a new wave of polarization. They also do not want Russia to experience a major defeat , which would reinforce American unilateralism and make it difficult for them to diversify their alliances.Meanwhile, the Biden Administration and Arab leaders have conflicting priorities. US is currently focused on deterring and isolating Moscow and is working towards a possible nuclear agreement that might end Iran’s economic isolation. In contrast , Arab governments want Russia to remain strong to help contain Iran’s ambitions to expand its influences over the region .Saudi Arabia and UAE relations with the Biden Administration remain strained , especially as they believe the US did not sufficiently support them over recent Houthi attacks on their territories . This has affected how they have responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in particular at UN SC and other world forums .
  2. The Russian invasion of Ukraine also demonstrated the fragility of Russia’s alliance with Turkey and Iran. Due to sanctions imposed on it , Moscow has become more dependent on Turkish and Iranian trade which has caused it to loose its traditional leverage over the two. Israel too is playing a balancing game between US and Russia over Ukraine .After the Israeli government issued a statement supporting the “ territorial integrity and the sovereignty of Ukraine” , Russia condemned the Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights . Israel however , did not go as far as Turkey and declined a Ukrainian request to send weapons and military equipment.

4.The worst affected from the Ukraine war will be Syria and Libya , the two arenas where US- Russian collaboration is most needed for a sustainable political outcomes.Russia’s considerable military presence in both countries and its increasing political and economic isolation may drive it to be a disrupter of ongoing efforts to address political divisions in Libya and to be even more supportive of the Syrian and Iranian regimes than it has been in the past.. Meanwhile, both Turkey and Israel are troubled by the prospects of future Russian action in Syria , due to their stakes in these countries. Turkey is concerned that Russia-could increase pressure in the rebel enclave Idlib, triggering an influx of refugees . Syria’sKurdish population concerns are that a US- Turkey trade- off in this larger geopolitical tussle would come at their expense. Israel is worried with growing Russian- Iran cooperation and possible limits on its aerial bombardment of Iranian targets in Syria.

5.. Another areas  of serious concern for the ME nations are humanitarian aid and food security in the region especially related to fragile regional countries. The growing number of Ukrainian refugees and the phenomenal cost of post conflict re construction are raising fears that the critical humanitarian aid may be diverted from ME to address the fall out from the Ukrainian conflicts. For the millions of Palestinians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Syrian and even Iraqis who live in countries affected by conflicts and economic depreciation and increasing humanitarian needs, this would be a shutting down of critical life support . The crisis is also aggravated by the likely food shortages in countries like Lebanon, Egypt which rely on Russia and Ukraine for their wheat supplies in the range of 90%. Food and humanitarian aid shortage could cause severe political crises if the people come to streets in protests.

6.The future of gas and oil supplies is critical . Europe will likely seek to build up alternate gas supplies and therein lies an opportunity for Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean countries. Gulf countries are currently gaining from the increase in oil prices and leveraging this situation to renegotiate their relationship with US on favorable terms in places like Yemen etc. Much remains to be seen in this conflict which has heralded a long term shift in global relations. The traditional alignment of prominent ME countries with US has also suffered a set back because of US lackluster support and aid to Ukraine against the Russian aggression. Even NATO & European Union have been found wanting at the time of need. These factors will cast their influences in Geo- political realignments for many of the ME states in not too distant a future ! What really happens, only time will tell.


1.Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, launching the biggest military offensive in Europe since World War II. Moscow’s incursion into the territory of its south western neighbor has brought Ukraine into the world limelight. Ukraine with an area of 603,628 Square Kms is  the second largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. It also shares borders with Belarus , Poland, Slovakia, Hungary , Romania and Moldova . Ukraine with 44 million people is the 8th most populous country in Europe, rich in coal, iron, natural gas, manganese, oil, graphite, timber and mercury. The nation’s capital and largest city is Kyiv, which is also the hub of culture and education.The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. Ukraine became the founding member of the Soviet Union( USSR) in 1922. In 1939,Western Ukraine, with cultural and linguistic affinity with Europe was annexed by the USSR. Ukraine gained its independence on 24 August 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

2.After it’s independence, Ukraine formed a unitary republic under a semi- presidential system and declared itself a neutral state, forming a limited military partnership with Russia, while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after President Victor Yanukovych suspended the Ukraine- European Union Agreement in favor of closer economic ties with Russia, mass protests erupted , leading to the overthrow of the President and establishment of the new government. These events formed the background to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, which was part of Russian Republic until 1954 when Soviet leadership transferred it to the Ukrainian republic.. This was also accompanied by Russian interference in uprising by ethnically Russians in Eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk( Donbas region).To date an estimated 14,000 people have been killed and  1.5 million displaced. This on going separatist movement in Eastern Ukraine and their liberation, is  cited as one of the reasons by President Putin of Russia for the invasion in February 2022.

3.Relations between Russia and Ukraine have remained hostile since the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. Ukraine post revolutionary government wished to commit the country to a future within bothEuropean Union( EU )and North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO), rather than continue to play the delicate balancing game of balancing its economic and security interests with those of Russia, EU and NATO member states. In 2004 , Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia , Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia had joined the EU followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. Russian government feared that Ukraine becoming of a member of EU and NATO would restrict Russia’s access to the Black Sea besides posing a military and nuclear threat to Russia.In 2019, under President Volodymyr Zelensky, amendments were made to the Constitution of Ukraine, which legalized the strategic course towards EU and NATO membership. Throughput 2021-22, a Russian military buildup on the border of Ukraine escalated tensions between the two countries and strained their bi lateral relations to the lowest ebb. The US strong message that an invasion by Russia would be met with dire consequences for Russia’s economy further escalated the brinkmanship.

  1. A genesis of inter-state relations between Ukraine and Russia , since the independence of Ukraine in 1991, reveals a Checkered history. Ukraine, on its part has not been able to develop an intrinsic sense of nationalism due to culturally, linguistically and ethnically diverse Eastern and Western regions. While the former are mostly Russian speaking and have cultural affinity with Russia, the later who joined Soviet Union as late as 1957, view themselves as part of Europe. After Russian capture of Crimea region in 2014 and its open support to the separatists in the Eastern region, there was a backlash in the Western part in manifestation of its desire to become part of EU and NATO.US and other European powers also played a role in fomenting this division and to wane away Ukraine from Russian influence. Since 1949 raising of NATO, it’s membership has been raised from 12 to 30 as of now. In 2008 when NATO approved the membership of Ukraine, Russia showed its resentment but it was ignored. In 2019 wen Ukraine formally legislated the bill to join EU and NATO, Russia draw a Red Line and started amassing forces at its border. The security concerns of Russia vis a vis Ukraine  emanate from two  critical factors ; presence of NATO on Ukraine soil and possibly nuclear missiles mere 150 miles away from Moscow( similar to US- Cuba missile crisis of 1962) and a ‘wall ‘of ex Warsaw Pact countries under the umbrella of NATO, blocking its access to the Black Sea. The present launching of Russian attack is to stem these security imperatives, fore-stall future ingress of EU & NATO to Russian allies and also  President Putin ambitions of revival of an imperialist Russia.

Thualfuqar Center for Strategic Studies, Research and Human Rights .... Thualfuqar center is a private, independent research institution concerned with public affairs in Iraq and the effects of its regional and international environment.

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