Q&A With Reidar Visser on the Iraqi Elections

Reidar Visser

  • Country: Norway
  • Title: Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Education: Oxford University
  • Website: Historiae

Samar: What can the United States hope to do in order to minimize the intrusion of Iran in all sectors of Iraq, most especially in the Iraqi government? Would the United States prefer to see a Sunni government or a Shia one beholden to the Iranian government?

Omar: Which side are the Iraqi people and government more likely to choose, the United States or Iran? (Question submitted via RealClearWorld)

A: The Status of Forces Agreement already considerably limits Washington’s room to maneuver, and the United States also chose to do nothing to address the obvious attacks on the democratic process by the pro-Iranian parties during the recent de-Baathification of candidates. The United States still possesses some leverage related to Iraq’s debt to Kuwait and the Iraqi government’s desire to obtain U.S. military hardware; if used wisely, that leverage could be used to achieve institutional national-reconciliation aims

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