Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 20
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran will not become trapped in the Iraqi crisis by direct military intervention an expert on international relations says.
Iran does not have an official military presence in Iraq, however the country provides military advice to the Iraqi government on fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, Davoud Hermidas Bavand, a former head of the UNGA Legal Committee said in an interview with Trend on Aug. 20.
The neighboring Arab countries will not accept Iran's military presence in Iraq, he said, adding that any direct military action would be frowned upon by the international community.
Iran's military presence in Iraq is limited to indirect military advisors, the expert underlined.
While commenting on possible rewards of the military intervene against ISIL in Iraq, Bavand said that direct military presence even if it has successful results in short the short term, would lead to disturbing political consequences.
"It is a swamp that getting out of will cost too much," he remarked.
The Iraqi people's Arab nationalism is more powerful than their Shiite religious tendencies, so Iran's possible military intervention would not be even welcomed by the country's Shiite community on a long term basis, the expert argued.
He said that policy errors committed by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who was backed by Iran, exacerbated Iraq's crisis.
"You can not neglect the Iraqi minorities, and a balance should be established among the different groups in the country," Bavand stated.
The Sunni community should also participate in the Iraqi power structure, he said, adding Iraqi Sunnis have historical politic experiences from the Ottoman caliphate period.
Al-Maliki's Shiism was bad policy that led to extension of the crisis in the country and the global and regional powers concluded that the current situation should be changed.
Commenting on possible cooperation between Iran and the U.S. against the ISIL, the expert said both countries would benefit from stability and peace in Iraq, and they can cooperate on the issue in the future.
Earlier in June Iranian President Hasssan Rouhani said that Iran can cooperate with the U.S. on restoring security to Iraq if it saw Washington confronting "terrorist groups in Iraq and elsewhere," however the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opposed any possible U.S. military intervention in Iraq.
On the other hand, Iran so far has not objected to the U.S. air attacks on the ISIL artillery positions in Iraq.
While responding to a question about the future of Iran-Iraq relations under the new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi the expert said that the new administration may not have as powerful ties as Maliki with Iran, however he has no choice but to maintain good relations with Iran in order to protect Shiites' status in Iraq.
Bavand also said that the Sunni regional players in particular Saudi Arabia should re-examine their erroneous policies directed at the Shiites to establish stability in Iraq.
"They were wrong about the Syria crisis, thinking the issue would be resolved in short time with low costs as in Tunisia," he said, adding "as you see the Syria crisis has not ended and continues imposing high costs to regional players in particular to Turkey."