The New York Times quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Ramzy Mardini on the selection of a new Iraqi president:
Last week, several Iranian officials, including Ali Shamkhani, a top national security official, visited the holy city of Najaf, in southern Iraq, and conveyed to religious leaders that Iran would prefer that Mr. Maliki be replaced, according to a senior Shiite lawmaker in Baghdad.
But even if Mr. Maliki were replaced, there is little sense that the Iraqi political class would be able to establish a new political bargain that could bring peace. “There’s no glue to hold whatever grandiose governing coalition that emerges together,” said Ramzy Mardini, an Iraq expert and fellow at the Atlantic Council. He added, “the idea that if Maliki should leave and then we’d be on the path of reconciliation and compromise is wishful thinking.”