After the death of President Raisi

Iraq anxiously awaits Iran’s new policy

BAGHDAD — Analysts close to the ruling Coordination Framework in Iraq expect continuity in Baghdad’s relations with Tehran but warn of potential trouble for Iraq if tensions escalate in Gaza and the broader region following the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

The aftermath of the October 7 attacks and the ongoing conflict in Gaza has drawn Iraqi armed factions aligned with Iran into the fray.

These factions have launched attacks on targets in Israel and U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan as part of a strategy to pressure Washington to cease its support for Israel and possibly push Israel to declare a ceasefire in Gaza.

Raisi’s death has raised questions about how a new Iranian government will react to regional developments and the potential impact on Iraq. Some analysts contend that Iraq and the region are likely to see continuity in Iranian policy rather than significant changes following Raisi’s death.

Sabah Al-Akeeli, a political affairs researcher, told 964media that Iran’s institutional stability remains unchanged despite leadership shifts, which also applies to relations between Baghdad and Tehran.

“The new president of Iran will follow the path of the late Raisi, though some tactical shifts might occur,” Al-Akeeli confirmed.

The Iranian authorities have announced June 28 as the date for new presidential elections to elect a new government.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani visited Tehran on Wednesday to extend condolences to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the presence of Iran’s interim President Mohammad Mokhber.

Mokhber confirmed during a meeting with Iraqi leaders that he will continue Raisi’s initiatives, especially the agreements made with Tehran. Mokhber, trusted by the Supreme Leader, gained prominence as head of the “Execution Headquarters of Imam Khomeini’s Order,” a major body in the Supreme Leader’s office, sanctioned by the U.S. He is known as enjoying Khamenei’s trust.

Additionally, the new foreign minister, Ali Bagheri, was the chief negotiator on the nuclear issue and is seen as aligned with the conservative establishment over foreign policy.

Mokhber confirmed during a meeting with Iraqi leaders that he will steadfastly continue Raisi’s initiatives and the agreements he had with other governments.

However, some warn that Iraq must be prepared for a possible rise in regional tensions in a post-Raisi Iran, particularly as the Iranian establishment would try not to appear weakened following the death of its president and senior officials.

Khaled Al-Sarai, an analyst close to the Coordination Framework, told 964media that, “All countries in the Middle East are now standing on shifting sands. Changes in the Iranian government could affect foreign relations.”

“If the situation in Gaza escalates due to the change in Iranian leadership, Iraq will be in the eye of the storm, as many factions are linked to Iran, which leads the resistance in the region,” Al-Saray added.