• The Arab Democratic Center


This research is concerned with studying the local and regional variables affecting the security and stability of the Iraqi state, the mechanism for identifying those challenges and threats to Iraqi national security and the nature of relations between the countries affecting in the Iraqi state, after the collapse of the American occupation of Iraq in 2003, and after its passing by a period of weakness after the Iraqi invasion 0 and towards that The regional conflict in the region has led to security instability, and the regional system should be reformulated in general and with the new conditions imposed by geo-strategic equations in the region, which have become a major challenge for the Arab region and its political future and being in the global map.


The regional conflict has different dimensions specific to all the countries surrounding it, but in this study we will address the impact of that regional conflict on the national security of Iraq, as the regional conflict spreads between countries to lead to political instability in the countries, to compete for being in important regional regions, In our study, we look for the causes of the phenomenon of instability in Iraq through direct intervention in its internal and external affairs.

This study seeks to know the ongoing regional conflict in the region, and to analyze the nature of internal and external challenges facing the Iraqi state and how this regional conflict affects in all aspects the existence and stability of the Iraqi state. The study sheds light on international and regional forces affecting Iraq’s security and stability.

The importance of the study highlights the analysis and knowledge of the regional conflict, and how this conflict negatively affects the continuing security and stability of Iraq, which continues until now. Therefore, the situation requires an understanding and awareness of the situations that Iraq is going through, the nature of the risks surrounding it, how to confront it and limit its negative impact.

The study is based on the hypothesis that the interventions of regional and international powers are the main factor in the instability of Iraq since 2003 until this time. Descriptive and historical analysis to understand and address the study topic

Iraqi national security is a requirement of a high degree of importance, in addition to the political events that occur in the regional circle. Iraq, through its path of integration and participation in the big, critical and sensitive issues in the region.

The aim of the study is that Iraq has a very geographically distinct location and plays a distinct regional role. Thus, the geography of this country has been given a water and a burden in that situation. The role is tempting in international political relations, as its value rises, the political status of the country concerned increases, but at that time a burden imposed on it A permanent frequency of its capabilities and a continuous qualification for it in order to be in line with the requirements of the political role of political obligations, and to implement the roles set. The fact is that Iraq has fallen into the predicament. In front of the characteristics of the role, there is an environment that raises the costs of adapting it. Self-Measurement (Turkey, Gulf Cooperation Council Countries …).

It is one of the most prominent Arab countries that occupied a regional and international position that imposed consequences on it, which were reflected in all its dimensions on the internal affairs, politically, economically, socially, and security.

On the other hand, the Iraqi national security is facing external challenges produced by regional and international changes, especially the impact of the American occupation of Iraq in 2003, the events in Gaza since 2007, and the repercussions of the Iranian nuclear file, in addition to what the Arab countries witnessed in the Arab Spring 2011 revolutions. In light of the repercussions and deterioration in the region in the security situation in it, so that the national security of Iraq becomes a matter that comes at the forefront of the Iraqi policy priorities with its internal and external dimension.

Based on this, and due to the geopolitical privacy embodied in the regional situation in Iraq, his security concern was expressing a kind of exceptionalism in the degree of his sensitivity to the conditions surrounding him by taking measures and policies to ensure acceptable levels of a sense of security and stability in a manner that enhances the requirements of cohesion, social solidarity and preserving the self-entity of the state.

This study is divided into three sections

  • The first topic: deals with the theoretical and conceptual framework
  • The second topic: the impact of the major power conflict on Iraq.

The first topic: deals with the theoretical and conceptual framework

The concept of security : The concept of security has been linked to the study of international politics, traditionally, with the concept of “the state”, which represents the main unit in the context of the international system, and that security is one of the reasons for the establishment of the state [1] . This concept emerged with the birth of the nation-state in Europe after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, in which the form of the international system changed, and a new period of life in the world was represented by the idea of ​​enlightenment, and this term was interpreted after the conditions experienced by Europe, so every country appeared willing to preserve its geography and its population. Its national capabilities and great fear of its neighbors, which reinforces the concept of national security and increased its development and recovery [2] .

The concept of instability : it is a relative concept and is not determined according to one indicator or a set of indicators, so Samuel Huntington defines it as a function of the equation stating that instability equals political demands divided by political institutions, meaning that political instability increases with increasing political demands and the inability of political institutions to The response.

That definition is directly proportional to political demands and instability, because political stability cannot be provided by the use of force and violence that suppresses opponents of the system, because power cannot eliminate political demands, as those demands remain and exist but rather increase in the nature of the matter [3] .

The concept of penetration (destabilization):

The political system has been described as one of the servants of God, and that was during the period of divine rule that was in Urban and at another stage in history, and the matter developed due to religious revolutions, and the political system became described as like the father for the children, and therefore it was said that it is a patriarchal system .

This term has been replaced by big titles such as democracy, civil and citizenship, but their contents have not changed, but what has changed is only the method, in the fact that the content is still acceptable and it means that the successful state must interfere in all areas of life, and reach the farthest citizen and provide him with his needs .

Therefore, this system I have is able to make the state penetrate positively to the farthest point of the citizen’s life, as the system was stable, and the opposite is also true.

It is clear to us from this definition that political stability has certain political conditions and systems in how to manage and advance the country through legitimacy, integration, participation, penetration and destabilization of political stability [4] .

The reasons that lead to state interference in internal affairs in Iraq:

The absence of actual and modern political participation.

The challenge of fundamentalist political Islam groups hidden from the legitimacy of the rule of women, based on the desire of these groups, to make Islam the only source of legislation, and not only one of its sources, with what this holds in the medium and long term from the rejection of what is now.

  • The absence of clear criteria for fairness in income distribution.
  • Prevalence of administrative corruption and job inflation in the state’s administrative apparatus.
  • Social, cultural, economic and political dangers arising from the large numbers of migrant workers [5] .

 The second topic: the impact of the major power conflict on Iraq

The struggle of regional powers in the Middle East is not apparently a birthplace of this moment; Rather, it is a struggle that has historical roots and constants, as all of this country seeks to achieve its interests and impose its will on what is outside it from the competing Middle Eastern countries, especially after the revolutions of the “Arab Spring, and the emergence of a regional multi-power Middle Eastern system, but it remains in shape, and then this is The stage is considered a transitional to form a new regional pattern in terms of the form and nature of interactions and alliances and the comparative balance of power between the various Middle Eastern powers, which include non-Arab actors such as Iran, Israel, and Turkey, besides there are active Arab powers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

         The conflict within the region revolves around several aspects, which we will present as follows:

  • Countries maintain their borders and national cohesion.
  • Preserving the national identity around which peoples surround, whether ideological, religious or ethnic.
  • Framework for new alliances and building regional and counterpoints.
  • The catalysts for conflict in the region both before and after the “Arab Spring” revolutions.
  • Existence of the form and identity of the active and capable state of domination within the regional context.
  • The struggle for hegemony and the imposition of will in the Middle East, in light of the presence of a group of forces that are close in strength and relative balances among them.

– The existence of some crises and pivotal issues in the Middle East, of which it is a matter (the Syrian crisis, the Iraqi problem, and the Yemeni crisis).

In light of those conditions conducive to the conflicts taking place in the region, we find that the “Arab Spring” protests in the region have given Iran an opportunity to expand its influence in the region as well, and this has emerged in the speeches of the Iranian leader “Ali Khamenei” during the outbreak of the Arab protests, which were urging the revolution to Corrupt ruling regimes, and the encouragement of the establishment of Islamic regimes consistent with the authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran, because Iran has considered that the revolutions of the “Arab Spring” are an extension of its Islamic revolution, but that the Iranian belief is completely distant, given the time dimension between the two events from On the one hand, as well as the difference between the Iranian Shiite and the Sunni schools of most Arab countries.

The Middle East region since the fall of the Iraqi regime and the outbreak of the Arab Spring revolutions, these two very important events have greatly affected the shape and nature of the region, especially those events and developments have led to the emergence of powers and other non-state actors [6] .

The phenomenon of the spread of terrorist organizations in the region has also led to the chaos, wars, conflicts and alliances between the major regional powers and military interventions, whether regional or international, under the pretext of imposing international peace and security and fighting terrorism, and the fact of the matter that these regional developments and competition constitute a fundamental supporter of the regional forces and the struggle for domination and strong hegemony The international community and its plans towards the Middle East region aim to reshape the map in the Middle East region by dividing and subjugating countries and introducing new systems such as democracy, according to the Bernard Lewis Project 1979, the original view of the policy of creative chaos [7] .

Therefore, we have emerged the Iraqi problem, because there is a rivalry for more conflicts within the Iraqi region between the various regional powers, as each of them seeks to win more moves, and extend influence on Iraqi chess boards, which strengthens their drive towards hegemony within the Middle Eastern region, on the Iranian side, it is considered Its arms are extended and penetrated in Iraqi territory in a very large way through the “Popular Mobilization Militia”, which always tries to get rid of the presence of any Sunni forces rival to it, as it seeks to form an Iraqi despair system that is compatible with the foundations and reference of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and this has become clear to us through The participation of the “Popular Mobilization Militia” by the Iraqi government in the battle of Mosul, and also through the number of violations that the popular crowd carried out against the Iraqi Sunnis, as its participation was primarily seeking to get rid of Sunni ISIS forces that represent a major threat to the presence of Iranian Shiite influence in Iraq, also when we mention Iraq The number of factions cannot be overlookedThe ethnic and Iraqi factions in which there are like the Kurds who live in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Iran totally rejects the idea of ​​the independence of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, because this is a fundamental threat to its influence in Syria, in addition to that in the secession of Iraqi Kurdistan will make the task of Iran very difficult, because it does not By doing so, it can extend its influence and military supply to its main arm, Hezbollah, in Lebanon.

There is also Israel, which aims to spread chaos, pricing sectarian and nationalism in the region in general and especially in Iraq, working to encourage separatist national and religious tendencies in order to be able to declare the Jewishness of the state and solve the Palestinian issue at the expense of the states that will arise, and which will be preoccupied with the inter-conflict that will arise. Among them, which allows Israel to be able to become an officer in the rhythm of regional conflicts in a way that achieves its own interest in controlling the region’s capabilities and wealth, and Israel can complete the “Theodore Herzl” project, which aims to achieve control of the fertile agricultural areas in southern Syria, the Iraqi island, and Syria, and therefore it is It supports the secession of Iraqi Kurdistan, also there are already negotiations between Turkey and the Kurdistan region of Iraq that are somewhat consistent with each other, as Turkey seeks to support the Iraqi Kurds to get rid of the state’s Shiites and the control of the Iranians inside Iraq, and thus dreams of hegemony and the restoration of its former Ottoman glories fromDuring its control of the Fertile Crescent, then it is using its alliance with the Kurdistan region of Iraq as a haven in achieving its control and hegemony.

Turkey also has interests in the secession of the Kurdistan region because it plays contradictory roles in Iraq, which contributed to the complexity of the regional scene and confused several parties in its communication with the Turkish party, especially after its expression of developments in its position regarding the Syrian crisis, especially since Turkey since the outbreak of the crisis The Syrian government is seeking, through the exploitation of terrorist groups such as (Jabhat Al-Nusra, ISIS), to use these terrorist groups as a tool to topple the Syrian regime, making its lands a haven and a passage for these groups, so that Turkish intelligence has been implicated in its support for these groups by condoning the transit of fighters from various The regions of the world for Turkish lands during their trip to Syria, and Turkey also helped to employ those groups in order to fight the Syrian Kurds, all these Turkish accounts put Ankara in the circle of friction with Russia and America at a time when the atmosphere of the Cold War between the two international poles returned, and the competition between them intensified. The Kurds there is push and pull between TurkeyAnd its American ally.

Ankara is moving to seek to impose its influence in the region by preventing the Kurds from strengthening their power and influence in the region, especially in the areas bordering its borders. The Islamic State “ISIS” [8] .

We can clarify the destabilization of security and stability in Iraq through the following map

Source: Khattar Abu Dhiab, Iraq and its Arab role at the heart of the regional conflict, Al-Anbaa, 2019.

  • Conflict over the border areas

The conflict in Iraq, within the borders of the Kurdistan region, dates back to the birth of the Iraqi state a century ago. The conflict in this region was exacerbated after the discovery of oil in Kirkuk in the late twenties of the twentieth century and the emergence of a Kurdish national movement in the sixties that challenged the rule of Baghdad for what the Kurds claimed to constitute “Kurdistan” of Iraq, including Kirkuk and its oil fields. The autonomy agreement negotiated in 1970 established a Kurdish regional territory in Iraq, but it did not define its borders. This left a conflict between the disputed areas, which is a large belt of lands inhabited by ethnic groups, located between Arab Iraq and Kurdish Iraq and extends between the Iranian worms in the center of the east to the Syrian border in the northwest.

And by the fact that the Kurdistan Work Party “Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan” can be abbreviated as PKK, is an armed left Kurdish political party that combines Kurdish and Marxist-Leninist nationalist tendencies, the goal of this party is to establish what the party calls (the independent Kurdistan State), which was supposed to include areas inhabited by the Kurds in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, and this party was established in November 1978 in the Turkish city of Diyarbakir [9] .

The common threads are in the disputed areas of Iraq in the Kurdistan region because it is characterized by a mixed ethnic composition of the population and the presence of oil and gas in this region, for each of the fourteen districts that constitute the disputed areas, and spread over four provinces, and has a different mix of people, cultures and challenges Economic. Each of the three regions, Kirkuk, Khanaqin and Tuz, Khormato, faces rival armed parties, hostilities between its local components and tensions with Baghdad.

We should know the disputed areas as follows:

The conflict in Iraq is due to its geographical presence in the map of the Middle East, and because of the wealth it possesses to achieve development and economic prosperity, and those areas where Iraqi oil is located are among the areas with the most acute conflict on all sides, and also among the reasons that lead to Political instability in Iraq, and below we can clarify these fields that all regional and international parties are fighting over.

  • Kirkuk

Kirkuk governorate is located on the border between the Arab majority part of Iraq and the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Its Kurdish population includes “Sunnis”, Arabs “Sunnis”, and Turkmen “Sunnis and Shiites”, in addition to a small group of Chaldeans and Assyrian Christians. The Kirkuk region was a city that includes a military garrison on an important Ottoman trade route, which explains to us the presence of the Turkmen population. This region formed a backdrop in the early years of the Republic of Iraq even after the discovery of oil.

The Kirkuk field is the largest oil field in Iraq, it has provided the government with revenues for decades, and after the discovery of other fields it has also become important. However, the Kirkuk field remained a lifeline during the war with Iran in the eighties of the twentieth century, when the southern oil fields, their infrastructure and the lines of I Bibi became inoperable, and given the systems that the Ba’athists led with a strong Arab nationalist ideology, those regimes carried out intensive Arabization campaigns for Kirkuk To strengthen its control over oil, and under Saddam Hussein, the matter reached the genocide of the Anfal campaign in 1988. [10]

In the US invasion in 2003, this violence reflected the return of the Kurds and abandoned the Arabs of Kirkuk, and they were marginalized politically under American protection. This is through a process stipulated in Article 140 of the Constitution.

Where in 2007 there was a referendum on the status of Kirkuk and other disputed areas, and that year was the deadline set for the constitution, as Iraq held elections at the governorate level, and Kirkuk was lagging behind the process given that the local parties were unable to agree on a formula that does not contain The election results lead to a de facto referendum on the status of Kirkuk [11] .

  • Khanaqin

It lies near a political contact line between the Iranian and Iraqi borders, and Khanaqin was disputed even during the reigns of the Ottoman and Persian empires. The disputed region, which includes the areas of Jalawla, Saadiyya and Qarah Tabah, is also located between Tehran and Baghdad on the main corridor of trade and pilgrimage, and is characterized by its very fertile soil thanks to the Diyala River that it irrigates. It was excavated for the first time in the beginning of the twentieth century in the Khanna oil field, which extends on both sides of the border, in addition to the presence of a Kurdish population, the presence of oil may be a reason since the emergence of the Kurdish national movement, the Kurdish leaders sought to include Khanaqin in the administrative astronomy of the Kurds.

At the beginning of the seventies of the twentieth century, the judiciary witnessed a share of demographic manipulation, from the denationalization and deportation of the “Filipino” Shiite Kurds, in addition to the Arabization policies pursued by Saddam’s regime that led to the pressure exerted by the Kurdistan Regional Government after 2003 on the Arabs to leave the city of Khanaqin to Saadiyya and Jalula. And that all of these regions have a mixture of residents, but the city of Khanaqin is inhabited by Kurds who are divided into Sunnis and Shiites, while most of the population are Arabs, with large Turkmen and Kurdish minorities. The rebellion has been prevented and reactions since the establishment of effective governance since 2003, especially in the areas where elected local councils are able to operate amid violence, assassination attempts and threats.

In 2014, ISIS took control of Saadia and Jalula, but not Khanaqin. After five months, the crowd and the Peshmerga affiliated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan took out them. The return of the army and federal police, and the arrival of the crowd, have transformed local conflicts. And that crowd imposed the upper hand as soon as the army retook the area and moved to another, and as a result, the federal government remained largely absent, including the administrative level, and that crowd allowed the Badr Organization and Asaib Ahl al-Haq to impose taxes on merchants and roads and intimidate non-Shiites that they did not respect Law and government, in the words of a local Kurdish politician, have increasingly filled the crowd with local government institutions with Shi’a officials, which has benefited the local Turkmen in particular.

The response to those actions was that many Kurds had been left, and some had not been returned, and others had left their positions due to ISIS control in the area, and security was still weak and services were not available. The crowd had allegedly expelled a number of Kurdish families from the villages of Jalawla and pushed others to leave for fear of reprisals from the attempts of the Kurdish parties after 2003 to expel the local Arab population from the area. In the city of Khanaqin, which is predominantly Kurdish, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has managed to stick to the security file in these events, and ISIS attacks launched from rural areas continued in tactics transmitted by Kurdish rebels in the 1980s.

In 2017, the government took control of the disputed areas of the Khanaqin district, and this was achieved easily and conveniently, because the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan agreed to withdraw, and its Peshmerga coordinated easily with the Federal Army as the latter advanced. However, the mixture of the population allowed the occurrence of harmful political practices by external players who benefited from ethnic and sectarian differences, especially the crowd that found among the local Shiites a supportive component that rejects the ruling of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and its efforts to annex Khanaqin to the Kurdistan region.

  • Tuz Khurmato

Tuz Khurmato district suffered a lot and sometimes it is referred to as Tuz, which is located in Salah al-Din Governorate, just north of Baghdad, more violence than other disputed areas in the period immediately following the control of the Iraqi army and the crowd in the first of October 2017, and it may be The reason for this is that the region has suffered from violent ethnic and sectarian clashes since 2003, in which Kurds, Turkmen, Sunnis and Shiites participated, as well as Sunni Arabs.

As Tuz is an important transportation center, it is located on the highway between Baghdad and Kirkuk, and Kirkuk is originally a Turkmen center, while its northern and eastern countryside is predominantly Kurdish, with Arab tribes to the south and west. In a matter of mine, I have a Turkmen Shiite majority in the city, but the villages of the region have a Sunni majority, and in Sulayman Bey, I have a Sunni Arab majority. The post-2003 elections showed that the district of Tuz is very diverse, as one ethnic group does not have a majority [12] .

During that period (2003-2017), the Toz region witnessed frequent clashes between the Kurdish parties, mainly the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which assumed security control, and the Turkmen parties, this led to the arrival of the Islamic State in 2014 to the southern and western parts of the judiciary and attempts Take it out from it to destroy Arab and Turkmen villages. Under Iranian guidance, and in return, I joined hands with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with the Shiite Hashd fighters to fight the organization of the tour, and they punished the Arab population who suspected their cooperation with the organization. Shi’ite militias also restored my command in September 2014, just three months after ISIS took control of them, and the army and the Hashd removed the organization from the region in 2015, and in January 2015 the Hashd and security forces arrested about 700 Arabs, the reason being suspicion of their affiliation with or support of the Islamic State, In many cases, their whereabouts are still unknown.[13] .

That map shows the disputed areas

Source from Middle East Report No. 194/14, 2018

 The third topic: the competition of the major powers in Iraq

  • United States of America

The German academic Volker Bertz also said that the United States was targeting the entire Middle East region, in its objectives during the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and I mistook it. Perhaps the events that Iraq experienced after that was a reaction from the United States after September 11th, with errors in the region, and in the previous American policies towards the region that generated hatred for the United States, so the latter had to work for a comprehensive political, social and intellectual transformation … Regardless of the difference with this agreement with him. While this means that the issue of controlling the Middle East was aimed at the process of change that occurred after the events of 2003, among the strategic goals of complete domination is the spread of democracy, that would not have been achieved if Iraq settled politically or the Arab-Israeli conflict was resolved. This is what is so far away.

American thinking is based on three main pillars: the use of military force, the domination of economic interests, the generalization of consumption values ​​and liberal freedom.

American foreign policy has strengthened in the past decades in various ways until it reached the stage of imperialism in the American empire. The United States of America chose Iraq as the easiest and weakest link in the region, and although regional and Arab conditions helped the United States to expedite its political program to rehabilitate Iraq from what was previously planned from proliferation and direct occupation by 5-10 years, before going into the political process, it is It has succeeded in establishing the post-political phase of Iraq, and this is what we find in the three phases of Iraq [14] .

  • The stage of changing the political system in the 2003 forgetfulness of the occupation of Baghdad.
  • The stage of establishment of the weak political entity linked to the ability of the United States to survive.
  • The third and final stage is to start establishing the permanent American presence.

And that the United States was hiring itself in potential areas and can be presented as follows:

  • Building military bases, and this requires a security agreement between the United States and Iraq, in providing all the information, and setting basic blocks that will be focused on about 4 main bases expected to be permanent bases after the withdrawal of American forces, and from those bases (Ali bin Abi Talib Air Force Base near Nasiriyah , Harir Air Force Base in northern Iraq, Al-Shabiya Air Force Base in western Baghdad, and East Baghdad Base).
  • Building intelligence and information bases in different parts of Iraq that will be permanent spy stations on the conditions of Iraq and neighboring countries.
  • Interference from Iraq against neighboring countries when needed and necessary.
  • Pressure on countries in the region to undertake reforms in their governance or economic and educational systems [15] .

Thus, the foreign policy goals will be clear to Iraq in light of its political weakness and the interests of the United States.

  • Iran

Iran has worked in the last ten years to achieve about 35 major tributaries that were passing in Iraq, so 80% of the water resources in Iraq have been lost, so that the behavior of others will be legitimate in all political aspects.

Source: Safa Khalaf, Iran and Iraqi waters: Jokes in strangulation, The Arab Ambassador, 2018.

What has been shown from the global water indicators, through the “water stress index”, is that Iraq will be a land without rivers by 2040, and the two great rivers will not reach the final estuary at sea. By 2025, the features of the severe drought will be very evident throughout Iraq, with the total drought of the Euphrates River facing south, and the Tigris turned into a small waterway with limited resources.

Iraq has faced a rapid and steady decline in its water resources. During the past three decades, he lost nearly half of the water rate he enjoyed  during the first half  of the last century. In recent years, it lost about 80 percent of the flowing water to it from Iran, after cutting about 35 major tributaries, according to the Iraqi Parliament and Agriculture Committee. The committee has indicated that the remaining seven are Iranian tributaries, and that Tehran is seeking to build new dams on it.
Iran has also changed the course of the two most important tributaries, the “Alund” and the “Karon”, which greatly affected the extensive agricultural areas in Basra (south), Wasit (southeast) and Diyala (northeast). The Wasit Provincial Council affirms that “the Iranians procrastinate in negotiations and argue against drought and lack of rain, while coordination is just promises that are not implemented in reality.”
In the year 2011, the Iranian government approved a number of projects to build 152 dams, some of these projects were to control and salvage the water entering Iraq, especially tributaries and rivers, while the Iraqi central government, despite Iranian water abuses and caused by a suffocating water blockade on the main lands and seasons Agricultural, did not complain about Iranian behavior in accordance with international agreements governing the water flow between countries, and the shy meetings held by Baghdad with Tehran in this regard remained locked in political orders that stress the provision of great facilities and full normalization. As a representative, the reference to Iranian damage is often avoided and full responsibility for Ankara is denied in depriving Iraq of fresh water. At a time when frequent and permanent meetings are held with Iranian officials to raise trade exchange or political coordination, the water problem is not addressed [16] .

 The last agreement between Iraq and Iran with regard to the water situation was the “Algiers Agreement” in 1975 which was abolished in 1980, by Iraq after the fall of the Shah and ignited a devastating war, and was reintroduced after the end of the war, as a final status agreement that needs adjusting touches according to the logic Iraqi weakness and Iranian power, Iran has taken advantage of this in light of the Iraqi weakness to impose its policy easily on all common interests in the border strip of water, oil and land.
At the height of the escalation taking place between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region during the referendum crisis, the Iranian authorities baptized the Kurdish region from Iraq last year [17], To cut off the tributary of the “big Zab”, the largest arterial vein feeding the Tigris, and extending 402 km inside Iraqi territory at a rate of 30 thousand m3 / second, as a political punishment with the consent of Baghdad, which did not object to the Iranian action. Tehran returned the flow to Al-Rafid again after the referendum, and specialists noted that it was less than the previous natural flow.

At the same time, Tehran is seeking to build dams and tunnels and change the course of its rivers and tributaries to its lands, away from Iraq. Perhaps the most prominent example is the change of the course of the Sirwan River in recent years after 2003, which supplies Darbendikhan Lake and Dam with about 70 percent of their water capacity, and it operates the thermal power station to generate electricity in it, as one of the major Iranian water projects.

In the Kurdistan Region, Tehran has also been trying to manipulate the water card in the framework of managing political crises in the region and developing an ambitious plan to build 14 dams and an industrial lake to store water in the long term and benefit from it in agricultural projects and services.

  • Turkey

By comparison between Turkey and Iran, in the interconnection between most of the sects that exist in Iraq, we find that there are a number of Shiites that are in Iraq, and Turkey has only Turkmen sects, specifically on the Iraqi Turkmen Front, and Turkey has focused on having bilateral relations with the Baathist government, Although there are no strong relations between Turkey and Iraqi society, some Turkmen, although this is a clear investment, do not rise to the level of other sectarian and ethnic groups. Turkey is still an important party in the future of Iraq, and in fact we can look at the volatility of the situation on the Iraqi scene, No neighboring country can determine the course of future developments in it, but Turkey has the ability to block and facilitate the progress of the United States and its allies in the country, and it is not different in that from Iran.

So, Ankara has the ability to disturb the American supply lines and prevent the American army from using Incirlik Air Force Base and resorting to the Iraqi Turkmen Front to escalate the tension of ethnic relations between them. United and Allawi’s government. The Iraqi Turkmen Front, regardless of Turkey, has some influence and even a breach of the real conditions in Kirkuk and beyond.

And Turkey is constantly striving to have positive incentives in Iraq and the following can be clarified:

  • Changing the rhetoric and offering political assistance to the Kurds will help ease some of the ethnic tensions between Kurds and Turkmen so that dialogue on Kirkuk becomes possible.
  • Turkey benefits from the existence of an independent, secular, Kurdish entity, or even an independent state, in case the situation deteriorates further. That entity can play an important role in the buffer zone.
  • Changing the legacy rhetoric towards the Kurds will also help relieve internal tensions in Turkey. These changes in impact from the accession process to the European Union have led to a field improvement.
  • Moreover, this rapprochement will benefit Turkey economically in its southeastern provinces, which have suffered a lot from the rebellion led by the PKK throughout the nineties [18] .

Despite the intervention of all of these countries in Iraq and all interests and competition in being in Iraq, the American presence in Iraq impedes Turkey’s ability to influence the course of events in that country, if the United States left in Iraq before stability prevailed in Iraq, we would have found that Ankara remains to have more aspects and more options in Iraq, especially in its ability to prevent some developments from occurring under this possibility, the European Union and the damage associated with the accession process will remain the only obstacle in the way of its policies.


Thus, in light of the regional instability in the region that resulted in the destabilization of the Iraqi nationalism after 2003, and the reasons that are distributed between the internal and external areas discussed in this study. And it is possible to eliminate political instability in Iraq or reduce the excitations resulting from it through specific mechanisms and plans that must be established by the state.

We conclude from this study the following:

The regional conflict in the region affects all neighboring countries, and our study specifically on the future of Iraq and its existence as a country with specific borders on the global map.

The weakness of the political system that exists in Iraq, and the failure to confront and resolve the major powers that interfere with all their energies in the internal affairs of the state and take their resources and wealth from oil, water and lands, also the problem of ethnic pluralism in Iraq and the large number of sects in it leads to the presence of wars and civil conflicts constantly in the state.

And that many reasons lead to the existence of the phenomenon of political instability in Iraq, and those reasons are divided into internal ones (political, constitutional, economic, cultural, social) while the external are (regional and international) and this is what we monitored through research and reaching the results that are found before us. But through the researcher’s vision, we find that the internal causes in the political system for the stability of Iraq are the basis for these interventions, and without them the external factor could not find an opportunity for it to interfere in the internal Iraqi affairs.

There are some recommendations that the researcher provides at the end of the study.

  • Reforming the internal political system of the Iraqi state: The Iraqi political forces may leave in the next stage the method of quotas in the management of the country, and move towards the method used in democratic countries, i.e. elections are conducted on the basis of competence, experience and merit without turning to the subsidiary identity.
  • Reforming or changing the political system in the country and replacing it with more governing and leadership political systems to cross the country to an advanced stage in which it enjoys political stability and preserves its national security in its existence as a state.
  • For the Iraqi state to activate foreign policy and build restrictions for it, and to interact in the regional environment with regard to its rights over its lands and wealth.
  • That there be a strong defense army in Iraq to deal with any infringement that might happen to it, as many major powers have attacked on its soil.

List of references

  • Ibrahim Abdul Qadir Muhammad, Internal and External Challenges Affecting Jordanian National Security in the Period (1999-2013) Case Study, Master Thesis, Ankara, Middle East University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2013.
  • Faten Muhammad Razzaq, Alaa Jabbar Ahmad, The weak national identity and its impact on Iraqi national security, research published from the Internet.
  • Ahmed Fadel Jasim Dawood, Societal Instability in post-2003 Iraq An analytical study of societal challenges … and future prospects, research published online.
  • Syed Ibrahim, Political Instability in Iraq After 2003, research published online, May 2018.
  • Al-Haj, Abdullah Juma, The Regional Challenge, Volume 10, No. 38, Social Affairs, The Association of Socialists in Sharjah, 2012.
  • Abdullah, Ali Ziad, The Future of Balance and Conflict in the Middle East, No. 153, Middle East Affairs, Center for Strategic Studies, 2016.
  • Muhammad Ramadan Abu Shaisha, Complex Issues: The Future of Regional Conflict in the Middle East, Arab Center for Research and Studies, March 2018.
  • Al-Saadoun, Wathiq Muhammad Barak, The Future of Iraqi-Turkish Relations in light of Regional Security Challenges, Journal of Regional Studies, Volume 10, No. 31, University of Mosul, Center for Regional Studies 2013.
  • Visser, Redar, Sectarian Identity and Regional Conflict in Iraq: A Historical Perspective, Volume 30, No. 347, The Arab Future, Center for Arab Unity Studies, January 2008.
  • Middle East Report No. 194/14, Reviving the United Nations Mediation on the Disputed Internal Borders in Iraq, translated report by the International CRISIS GROUP, December 2018.
  • Hasan, Shatha Zaki, The Arab Regional System between Reality Problems and Regional and International Interventions, Al-Mustansiriya Journal for Arab and International Studies, No. 36, Al-Mustansiriya University – Al-Mustansiriya Center for Arab and International Studies, 2011.
  • Khadr Abbas Atwan, The Future of Iraq’s Regional Political Role, International Studies Journal, 33rd issue.
  • Safaa Khalaf, Iran and Iraqi Water: Methods of Strangulation, the Arab Ambassador, 2018.
  • Henry J. Parque, Turkey and Iraq Neighborhood Hazards (and Capabilities), Report from the American Peace Institute, Report No. 141, July 2011.

([1]) Ibrahim Abdul Qadir Muhammad, internal and external challenges affecting Jordanian national security in the period (1999-2013) case study, Master Thesis, Ankara, Middle East University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2013, p. 8.

([2]) Faten Muhammad Razzaq, Alaa Jabbar Ahmed, The weak national identity and its impact on Iraqi national security, research published from the Internet, p. 4.

([3]) Ahmad Fadel Jassem Dawood, Societal Instability in post-2003 Iraq An analytical study of societal challenges … and future prospects, research published online, p. 3.

([4]) Ibrahim, political instability in Iraq after 2003, research published online, May 2018, pp. 44, 45.

([5]) Al-Hajj, Abdullah Juma, The Regional Challenge, Volume 10, No. 38, Social Affairs, Sociologists Association in Sharjah, 2012, p. 202.

([6]) Abdullah, Ali Ziad, The Future of Balance and Conflict in the Middle East, No. 153, Middle East Affairs, Center for Strategic Studies, 2016, p. 80.

([7]) Muhammad Ramadan Abu Sha`isha, Complex Issues: The Future of Regional Conflict in the Middle East, Arab Center for Research and Studies, March 2018.

([8]) Muhammad Ramadan Abu Sha`isha ‘, Complex Issues: The Future of Regional Conflict in the Middle East, Previous Reference.

([9]) Al-Saadoun, Wathiq Muhammad Barak, The Future of Iraqi-Turkish Relations in light of Regional Security Challenges, Journal of Regional Studies, Volume 10, No. 31, University of Mosul, Center for Regional Studies 2013, p. 299.

([10]) Veseer, Redar, Sectarian Identity and Regional Conflict in Iraq: A Historical View, Volume 30, No. 347, The Arab Future, Center for Arab Unity Studies, January 2008, p. 44.

([11]) Middle East Report No. 194/14, Reviving the United Nations Mediation on the Disputed Internal Borders in Iraq, Interpreted Report by INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP, December 2018, p. 7.

([12]) Middle East Report No. 14/19 194, Reviving the United Nations Mediation on the Disputed Internal Borders in Iraq, previous reference, p. 12.

([13]) Middle East Report No. 14/19 194, Reviving the United Nations Mediation on the Disputed Internal Borders in Iraq, previous reference, p. 14.

([14]) Hasan, Shatha Zaki, The Arab Regional System between Reality Problems and Regional and International Interventions, Al-Mustansiriya Journal for Arab and International Studies, No. 36, Al-Mustansiriya University – Al-Mustansiriya Center for Arab and International Studies, 2011.

([15]) Khader Abbas Atwan, The Future of Iraq’s Regional Political Role, International Studies Journal, Thirty-third Issue, pp. 149,150.

([16]) Safa Khalaf, Iran and the waters of Iraq: Strangulation methods, the Arab ambassador, 2018.

([17]) Khader Abbas Atwan, The Future of Iraq’s Regional Political Role, Previous Reference, p. 159.

([18]) Henry J. Parque, Turkey and Iraq Neighborhood Hazards (and Capabilities), Report from the American Peace Institute, Report No. 141, July 2011, pp. 12.13.