Brent Scowcroft Center Resident Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Bilal Y. Saab writes for the New Republic on why Iran and Saudi Arabia are responsible for the deteriorating situation in Iraq:
There is plenty of blame to go around for the current mess in Iraq, but reprimanding Washington, Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) will solve nothing. The real fault should be assigned to those actors who, despite having tremendous influence and real leverage over the majority of the Iraqi antagonists, have so far decided not to intervene politically. That’s Iran and Saudi Arabia.
A dialogue between the Iranians and the Saudis is desperately needed not just to stop Iraq’s bleeding and prevent another full-blown civil war, but to extinguish at least the major Sunni-Shi’ite fires throughout the Middle East that are fueling this violence and chaos.