A roundtable discussion on pressing issues

964Studios hosts talk with Radio Monte Carlo on future of international coalition in Iraq

ERBIL — A team from Radio Monte Carlo recently visited 964Studios in Erbil for a discussion with prominent journalists and researchers on the future of the international coalition in Iraq, among other political issues.

The discussion, moderated by Saudi journalist Iman Al-Hamoud, featured Middle East Research Institute (MERI) president Dilawar Aladdin, 964media General Director Hiwa Osman, and 964media’s Editor-in-Chief Sarmad Al-Taie.

Osman criticized the U.S.’s handling of Iraq since the days of Paul Bremer, emphasizing that U.S. forces’ presence in the country be based on a comprehensive political agreement ensuring financial, economic, and diplomatic security.

He further noted that even countries calling for U.S. withdrawal, like Iran, may still desire a controlled American presence in Iraq, albeit lacking a clear vision for its form or extent.

MERI’s Aladdin discussed the Feb. 10 parliamentary session aiming to expel U.S. forces, highlighting Iran’s influence in discouraging attendance. He echoed Osman’s statement that Iran prefers a reduced, rather than eliminated U.S. military presence and desires continued American involvement in other aspects.

Aladdin cautioned against solely blaming the U.S. for the post-2003 failures in Iraq, emphasizing the role of neighboring countries as well.

Al-Taie addressed Iraq’s ongoing challenges with international sanctions stemming from the Saddam Hussein regime, which he said hinder the country’s global credibility. He suggested that the international presence aims to mitigate these sanctions and gradually reintegrate Iraq into the international community.

Al-Taie also observed a surprising level of cooperation between Tehran and Washington concerning Iraq, suggesting that neither side desires a complete severance and seeks understanding regarding their respective positions within the country.

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