Iranian Influence in Iraq: Military and Soft Power
Since the removal of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iran has developed a comprehensive strategy to wield its political, military and economic influence, contributing to state building in Iraq. Iran's policy and goals in the Iraq are sometimes contradictory caught between the weighing of their revolution or religious ideology. The invasion of the United States (US) in Iraq and the Gulf created a security dilemma for Iran, in which it reacted by developing a network of Shi'a militias in Iraq. More recently, in response to the threat of ISIS, Iran's main objectives are to protect the Shi'a communities and religious sites within Iraq. As Iraq finds itself in a state of a full-blown sectarian war, it is important to assess the policies that have exacerbated the delicate government in Iraq an exacerbated the delicate government in Iraq and threatened a future of peace and prosperity. This brief investigation explores the modes of influence that are key to understanding Iran's hegemonic ambitions and how they play out but most of all how they continue to fuel sectarian conflicts within Iraq.
Christa is the Acting Director at Mercy Hands in Baghdad. She has spent the past 10 years studying and working within Middle East relations with a specific interest in conflict and policy, and worked at the Iraqi Embassy in DC. She has a Masters in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Government and a Bachelors in International Affairs from GWU.