The Wall Street Journal quotes Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Senior Fellow Ramzy Mardini on pressure by Iraqi parties for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down from office:

In addition, Iran, which exerts much influence over Iraq, will help decide whether Mr. Maliki will remain in power and is unlikely to consent to anyone who isn’t close to its interests.

“Either it gets someone more pro-Iranian than Maliki, or it escalates the crisis from zero to 10,” said Ramzy Mardini, an expert on Iraq at the Atlantic Council who formerly has worked at the White House and State Department.

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