Nadim Al-Jaberi

Iraqi politician urges Iraq to communicate assertively with Iran and the U.S.

BAGHDAD, January 2 — Iraqi politician and academic Nadim Al-Jaberi stated that recurrent drone attacks on the Kurdistan Region have been ongoing before Mohammed Al-Sudani’s election as prime minister, and therefore, it is unlikely that the intention behind the attacks is to embarrass him. Al-Jaberi expressed his belief that Baghdad should strongly communicate with both Tehran and Washington, with the latter appearing to be “more decisive” on Iraqi soil.

Al-Jaberi, a professor of political science, spoke in an interview with Saif Ali:

We do not view the shelling in Erbil from a mere security perspective but rather from the political background that produces such acts. These armed actions by various parties are a recurring event, and not surprising. It reflects a deficiency in political performance that does not meet the standards of state traditions.

The bombings in Erbil, even if we assume they occurred exclusively during Mr. Sudani’s tenure, cannot be considered attempts to embarrass him. Similar events have occurred under other governments, so it is not specifically embarrassing for Sudani.

If we aim to address this issue, the state must monopolize the decisive power to prevent Iraq from becoming a battleground for regional and international conflicts. This principle is acceptable, and I believe all parties [w0uld] accept it. We cannot be a state unless we control that decisive power.

The Iraqi government needs to better manage its relationships, both internationally and regionally. Iraq is a battleground between the United States and Iran, each with aspirations unrelated to Iraq. The Iranian nuclear file is the axis of the conflict, and it is the basis for all this rivalry. Both conflicting parties are pressuring each other to secure their interests. Therefore, the Iraqi government must manage its relationship effectively.

I have a constant equation, and this equation still operates. The decisive power in Iraqi affairs is still in the hands of the United States. The stronger influence in countries of the region is for Iran. Iran influences Iraq, but it does not have the power of decisiveness. The United States has the power of decisiveness, and our experience today is a result of the American occupation.

There must be an explicit conversation with the United States. A statement was issued by the United States, saying that they had informed the Iraqi government of their right to defend themselves, and the Iraqi government remained silent. The Iraqi government was supposed to tell the U.S. that they have the right to respond when attacked on their soil. The right to respond is guaranteed on national soil, not on foreign soil.

The Iraqi government should inform the U.S. that it will fight on its behalf if the embassy or other diplomatic representations come under attack. However, it will not fight on behalf of military bases present here and there. I do not understand why the Iraqi government does not deal assertively with the Americans. Even with Iran, there should be frank dialogue to remove Iraq from this international and regional game for which we pay the price. What is Kurdistan’s fault to be harmed in this way?

We have political gatherings, not political parties. Political parties create leadership, frame public opinion, formulate public policies, produce theories, and political thought. They have a vision for internal and external state affairs. However, we have not seen any of this in any Iraqi political party.

The party law imposes several conditions as if they were conditions for taking a specific job. A group of citizens applies to establish a party, and it is established, even if the party’s founder has no political activity. They are a group of people with sufficient funds, obtaining a license.

This does not represent the correct context in the formation of parties. Here, I am not talking about abolishing any party, but this political and social nature of parties. Parties should focus on the grounds for existence, having an identity that distinguishes them from other parties. Parties should have a unique identity. The question now is, what distinguishes Shiite parties from each other? What distinguishes Sunni parties? Kurdish parties as well. They do not differ in their leadership and symbols.