Bloomberg quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Iraq in order to help resolve the conflict there: 

The U.S. has “very little leverage” with key figures in Iraq, including Maliki, said Faysal Itani, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East in Washington. “It is not just a question of credibility, it’s a question of commitment.”


Itani cited Maliki’s support from predominantly Shiite Iran, which is providing military advisers, supplies and intelligence, as well as supporting Shiite militia forces.

“I think Maliki recognizes that the Iranians are much more committed to a specific outcome in Iraq than the United States currently is,” Itani said. “That disparity of commitment ultimately means that the party that cares about it more ultimately gets its way and Maliki, being a wily political operator, understands that.”

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