With polls already closed in Iraq, the USA, Israel, and the Gulf countries sit and await to see if Iran can pull victory from a week of continual political and military defeats. If the Iranian backed candidate Hadi al Amiri, the head of the Iranian militia known as the Badr Brigade wins the election it will be a serious blow for the USA and Israel’s efforts in pushing back Iran.
If Hadi al Amiri indeed wins he will more than likely move to push out the US troops in Iraq, thus blunting the Trump administration’s ability to contain Iran. This will actually for the USA to move quickly to find a way it can hold onto to its gains in the Syria theater.
The biggest loser of a potential Hadi al Amiri victory is Saudi Arabia. Not only is the kingdom dealing with Iranian backed Houthi rebels in Yemen that have been firing rockets at Riyadh, but it will need to find some way to contain their growing influence to the Kingdom’s north as well.
Even if Hadi al Amiri loses, no one person will have the ability to forge a single party coalition, which means Iran can influence whatever coalition forms. The growing Iranian control of Iraq is perhaps the most dangerous development in the Middle East.
If Hadi al Amiri wins or is a major player in the next coalition look for the Trump Administration to do the following:
- Push for Kurdish independence
- Increased Defense for Saudi Arabia
With Iran still reeling from Israel’s counterattack, an Iraqi win will be used as a reset for the limping ayatollahs.