The Guardian quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on Ahmad Chalabi, a potential successor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki:
“In all of Iraq, nobody knows how to punch above their weight or play the convoluted game of Iraqi politics better than Ahmad Chalabi,” said Ramzy Mardini, a Jordan-based political analyst for thinktank The Atlantic Council. “His enduring survival is beyond our comprehension. Unlike Ayad Allawi [another former exile], Ahmad Chalabi is close to Iran. This is the key relationship that makes Chalabi’s candidacy something of a realistic prospect should Maliki be ousted. If Iran has a redline against a candidate, [he doesn’t] have a shot in making it in the end.
“If Iraqi politics were Game of Thrones, Chalabi would play Lord Baelish, a consummate puppet master behind the scenes, constantly plotting his path to power. For him, chaos isn’t a pit, but a ladder and Chalabi knows the ways and means of exploiting a crisis to suit his interests and elevation in Iraq’s political circles. He apparently has good relations with everyone, except Maliki.”