TEHRAN - A South Alabama University professor says the serious military threats by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has created a kind of rapprochement between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
“If ISIL continues to move northward and challenge the security of the Kurdish provinces in Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government’s grip on power, then we may see a marriage of convenience between the forces of Iraqi central government and the Kurdish fighters,” Nader Entessar tells the Tehran Times.
last week, Nuri al-Maliki resigned as the Iraqi prime minister, paving the way for prime minister-designate Haider al-Abadi.
Entessar also says the selection of al-Abadi “will determine the extent of any possible cooperation” between the KRG and the Baghdad government.
The naming of the new prime minister has raised hopes to resolve the sectarian strife in Iraq and create a situation for reconciliation between the rival political camps in Iraq.
Entessar say the KRG officials, especially Masoud Barzani, had a “negative view” of al-Malaki, and they had expressed “their displeasure with him many times.”
At first, when ISIL militants captured large swathes in north and northeast Iraq, KRG President Barzani raised the specter of independence from Iraq. However, when ISIL terrorists turned their guns against the Kurds as well Barzani changed the tact.
“The swift northward movement of ISIL and the real threat they now pose to Erbil have caused the recent changes in Barzani’s attitude toward ISIL,” Entessar says.
‘Talabani kept Iraq intact’
After receiving medical treatment in Germany, Jalal Talabani, the former Iraqi president, returned home in July. He was under treatment for 18 months.
Before he fell ill he played a key role in brokering reconciliation between rival groups in Iraq.
Entessar says, “Jalal Talabani as the elder statesman of the Kurds has played a crucial role in keeping Iraq intact in the past several years.
“Talabani’s diplomatic skills and his broad vision have allowed him to play an effective role in mediating among Iraq’s contentious groups and personalities.
“Of course, Talabani is now in the twilight of his political career, and considering his health, and thus he cannot play the role he once performed so effectively in Iraq.”
The university professor says new Iraq President Foad Massoum “has many political attributes of Jalal Talabani, but it remains to be seen if he can inherit Talabani’s charisma to overcome severe challenges that are ahead of him.”