The leader of the secular Ummah Party in Iraq and former member of the House of Representatives, Mithal Al-Alusi, has said the Iraqi government should follow the UAE in normalising its relations with Israel.
According to Shafaaq News, Al-Alusi said, “Iraq needs to get out of the camp of wars, extremism and delusions, and it needs to build stable relations with all countries of the world.”
“For this, Iraq needs a peace agreement with Israel, similar to the Emirates,” he added.
Al-Alusi also revealed that “there is informal communication between some Iraqi political figures and Israel.” He argued that “Iran’s rule over the Iraqi political scene is preventing further development.”
“If Iraqi politicians were not afraid of Iran, and Tehran did not control their decisions, Iraq would have preceded the UAE in concluding a peace agreement with Israel.”
However, his calls for normalisation are at odds with the Iraqi government’s official position. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier this month: “We reiterate that Iraq’s position on the Palestinian issue is the same as the principled and historical position of rejecting the Israeli occupation and its usurpation of Arab land, and we do not have any relations with the occupying state, and we are committed to the principle of boycott.”
It has been speculated that Bahrain and Oman may be the next countries to follow the UAE in striking up a peace agreement with Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post’s Middle East affairs analyst, Seth J. Frantzman, Iraq “has too much Iranian influence to normalise relations with Israel.”
Although the Kurdistan region does have pre-existing and warm ties with Israel it is preoccupied with economic problems, Iran’s influence in Baghdad, and also challenges faced by Turkish military operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is considered a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the US and the EU.