Will the KRG’s upcoming elections lead to the strengthening of the Iranian axis in the Middle East?
In Iraqi Kurdistan, elections are around the corner. They are set to take place on September 30. While the international community is focused on the aftermath of Trump pulling out of the Iranian nuclear deal, concerned citizens who do not want for Iran to strengthen its hegemony across the globe and in the Middle East in particular should also pay attention to the upcoming KRG elections since one of the candidates, Qubad Talabani, who heads the PUK list for Kurdistan’s Parliament, is a close ally of Iran. Should he be elected, this will pose a significant threat to the United States, Israel, the Arab Gulf countries and everyone else who does not want to witness the strengthening of the Iranian axis in the Middle East region.
The family of Qubad Talabani, namely his brother and cousins, played a pivotal role in the Kurds losing control of Kirkuk last year. The Talabani’s essentially handed over this strategically important area to Iraq and Iran, without putting up a fight. For the Kurds, this was a devastating defeat. Following the invasion of Kirkuk, the Iraqi Army and its allies kidnapped, gang raped, and arrested people who had guns, Kurdish flags and who supported the KDP. In addition, Kurdish homes were burned to the ground and looted. Thousands of Kurds were displaced. Aside from this grave humanitarian cost, the Kurdish people were significantly weakened economically and politically.
For Israelis and Americans, the significance of having a weaker Kurdistan is that what was once a buffer zone breaking up the Shia Crescent lost much of its influence, enabling the Iranians to effectively have uninterrupted control from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea without any sort of disruptions. This enables Iran to pose a direct strategic threat to Israel along its border by being able to bring sophisticated weapons directly from Tehran to the Golan Heights. Prior to the invasion of Kirkuk, the Kurds were a buffer zone separating Iran and Iraq from Syria, making it significantly harder for Iran to threaten Israel’s borders directly.
However, even though the Kurdish buffer zone is weak and lost much of its influence, it still exists, even though it is a remnant of its former glory. If this buffer zone completely disappears, then all hope that Iran will one day lose its Shia Crescent Empire will fade. The Iraqi source stressed that should Talabani win the elections in Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran will have effectively destroyed what remains of Kurdistan’s autonomy, thus further strengthening its hegemony from Tehran to the Golan Heights, which will worsen Israel’s security situation even further.
It should be noted that Talabani himself does not have much political experience. His mother, his brother and his aunt are the ones who are giving him the tools necessary to rule. The only reason why he is presently Kurdistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and is heading the PUK list for Kurdistan’s Parliamentary Elections is because of his family’s power. However, his family, who will be his main influencers if he wins the election, have a shady history. Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, the wife of the late Jalal Talabani, Qubad’s late father, was the person who suggested to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi that he cut off the Kurds from their rightful oil revenues for Kirkuk oil. The loss of Kirkuk oil played a pivotal role in leading to the downfall of Iraqi Kurdistan both economically and politically.
In the 1966, Qubad Talabani’s father and grandfather split the Kurdish Revolution by choosing to work with the Iraqi regime and Iran. In 1996, they brought Iran to Kurdistan in order to destroy the KDP. To date, the Kurdish people are suffering because of how the Talabani’s have betrayed the Kurdish nation, dooming them to be the largest nation without a state in the Middle East. From the turn of the twentieth century to the present, they are a family of individuals who have promoted strong relations with Iran over promoting an independent and strong Kurdistan. And Qubad Talabani, as one who lacks experience, will be relying on relatives with a shady history of bringing more Iranian influence into Iraq to tell him how to govern because he merely lacks the skills to be able to govern Kurdistan himself. Therefore, Iran’s creeping influence into the Kurdistan region will come out of the closet and into the open, should Talabani be elected to lead the KRG.
Everyone who cares about a free Middle East, removed from the nefarious influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, should be concerned and watching the KRG elections closely. Will Kurdistan be betrayed once more? Will the Shia Crescent that already poses a strategic threat to the State of Israel grow stronger? Time will tell. From Israel, we should hope that the Kurdish voters will not enable the Iranian axis to be further entrenched, thus posing a strategic threat not only to us as Israelis but the entire free world.