01222018Mon

Iran Focus

London, 22 Aug - The meetings between Saudi Arabian and Iraqi officials late last month indicate that the Saudis are attempting to put distance between the Iranian Regime and the government in Iraq, according to a Middle East Expert.

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and then two weeks later, he met with the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.

Fanar Haddad, a research fellow at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, said: "Hosting Sadr in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi shows regional rivals and particularly Iran that KSA/UAE are capable of tapping into and influencing intra-Shia politics in Iraq."

Haddad noted that Sadr is very tempting for the Gulf monarchies.

Iran Focus

London, 21 Aug - Heshmat Alavi wrote an article for Al Arabiya English is which he posited that the time has come for Iraq to emerge from under the thumb of the Iranian mullahs and take its rightful place as a leading figure in the Middle East.

Alavi wrote that the Iranian Regime seized power in Iraq following the 2003 invasion by the US, and destroyed what had made Iraq good.

He wrote: “Iraq was known as a melting pot where Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens lived alongside and in mixed societies for centuries. Prior to Iran gaining its disastrous way across Mesopotamia, this was a land where the majority of Shiites lived and prospered with their Sunni, Christian, Yazidi and all other religious minority brothers.”

Iran Focus

London, 17 Aug - The Taliban wrote an open letter to Donald Trump advising him against sending more troops into Afghanistan would be self-destructive as the military situation is "far worse than [he] realizes".

A senior Taliban official told Reuters that they had chosen to directly address Trump on Tuesday to coincide with the White House debates on American policy towards Afghanistan.

In the letter to Trump, the Taliban wrote: "Previous experiences have shown that sending more troops to Afghanistan will not result in anything other than the further destruction of American military and economic might.”

Iran Focus

London, 19 Aug - Meetings to negotiate a new alliance have been taking place between senior officials from both Iraq and Saudi Arabia over the past six months. The discussions have focused on leading Iraq away from Iran, whose influence has grown in that country since the 2003 ousting of Saddam Hussein. This alliance would give Riyadh a leading role in rebuilding war-torn Iraq, and boost Baghdad’s credentials across the region. In fact, Riyadh may play a significant role in the reconstruction of the predominantly Sunni cities of Mosul, Fallujah, Ramadi and Tikrit.

Iran Focus

London, 17 Aug - A Saudi official announced that they have never requested Iraqi mediation in its affairs with the Iranian Regime and that any claim to the contrary was just fake news.

In a statement on Wednesday, the SPA official said: “Saudi Arabia affirms its strong stance which rejects any association in any shape or form with the Iranian regime which spreads terrorism and extremism in the region and internationally, and interferes in other countries’ matters.”

Earlier this month, comments attributed to the Iraqi Minister of Interior, Qassem al-Aaragi, suggested that during the recent visit of Iraqi Prime Minister, Haydar al-Aabadi, to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had asked Aabadi to mediate with the Iranian Regime for them.

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