On the eve of the Quds Day and amid Palestinian developments, and while the Iraqi political equations are unprecedentedly intricate, Muqtada al-Sadr, the currently top man in the Iraqi politics, with a Twitter post put himself in the center of media and politicians’ focus again.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): On the eve of the Quds Day and amid Palestinian developments, and while the Iraqi political equations are unprecedentedly intricate, Muqtada al-Sadr, the currently top man in the Iraqi politics, with a Twitter post put himself in the center of media and politicians’ focus again. The interesting point is that this message was posted as the leader of Sadrist Movement over the past few months has had major confrontation with part of Shiite political body in the country.
On Sunday, al-Sadr announced in a Twitter message that he would soon submit to parliament a plan to “absolutely criminalize” the efforts for normalization of relations with the Israeli regime. He even went so far as to state that the main reason for entering the elections was to “counter the conspiracy to normalize” relations with the Israeli government.
Concerning the significance of al-Sadr’s message for the Iraqi politics in the future, three points are mentionable.
Pro-normalization sides are working in vain
One of the undeniable realities of the Iraqi politics is that a limited part of the Iraqi political body who are mainly pawns of the US and Britain have been working since 2003 to put Baghdad on the track of contacts with Tel Aviv. Even in the past few years, when the process of normalization of relations with the Israeli regime has been advanced by some Arab regimes, this demand in Iraq has been expressed more openly. For example, in late September 2021, 300 tribal figures urged ties with Tel Aviv at a meeting arranged in Erbil by an American institute.
Also, despite denials by the Kurdish officials, the Israeli regime is destination of 75 percent of oil produced by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq and reciprocally Tel Aviv had been the main backer of the September 2017 independence referendum organized by Masoud Barzani of Iraqi Kurdistan. All the evidence suggests that the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani, has extensive ties to the Israelis.
However, al-Sadr’s new message could mark the end of such relations. Al-Sadr’s anti-normalization motion would be in stark contrast to the tendency of his ally Barzani and may put an end to this alliance.
Claims of new Iraqi government’s contrast to Axis of Resistance empty
Another important issue concerning al-Sadr’s new message has to do with a media propaganda campaign underway by some mercenary faces and parties seeking to paint the stances of the new Iraqi government close to Tel Aviv. Actually it has been widely trumpeted that the government that would come out of alliance of al-Sadr, the Sunnis, and the Kurds would be contrary to the policy of the Axis of Resistance– a regional bloc led by Iran and including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine– and thus would take steps to move close to the Israeli regime.
Building their propaganda on the fissures between al-Sadr’s and the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF)– a major Shiite body formed by rivals of al-Sadr post-election–, these groups are struggling to paint the post-election Iraq separating ways from the Resistance camp. But al-Sadr’s clear message proved them wrong. Actually, al-Sadr’s plan carries at heart an assurance of continuation of the strategic and serious participation of Iraq in the Axis of Resistance.
This plan mostly determines the future Iraqi government’s approach to the Palestinian groups, Lebanon, and Yemen and to the Palestinian cause at the meetings of the Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This step can be solidified with another step to give a result intended by al-Sadr: Condemnation of the Arab-Israeli normalization.
The message shows al-Sadr understands real Iraqi public demand
Although some mercenary and pro-Western factions have on their agenda establishing ties with the Israelis and even openly advocate normalization, the fact is that the demands of the Iraqi public are in contrast to them. Through their meaningful responses and reactions, the Iraqi people have shown that they never approve of demands of the submissive groups seeking closeness to Tel Aviv and even firmly stand in the way of such treasonous agenda.
Therefore, al-Sadr may insists on forming a majority government with his Sunni and Kurdish allies, but his plan indicates that he has well figured out the core logic behind the public demand and so set his concentration on opposition to normalization.