Iraqi Tribal Chief: Iraq ‘Groaning’ Under Two Occupations

Our guest blogger is Brian Katulis, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Sheikh Majid Abdul-Razzaq Soliman, chairman of the Iraq Chieftans and Notables Council, was in Cairo over the last few days. In an interview summarized here, he made clear his plea – “The Arabs have to join hands to stop Iran’s influence in Iraq.” Sheikh Soliman, the head of the Dulaim tribe, talked about how his country is “groaning” under two occupations – referring to the United States and Iran. The council’s board, which includes “39 chieftains and 19 notables,” has set up its headquarters in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

Soliman and his colleagues might have to wait a long time for any support – most countries in the Arab world have done the bare minimum on Iraq and aren’t likely to do anything significant while the United States maintains an open-ended commitment. The best way to motivate Iraq’s neighbors to actually do something is to announce that the United States plans to redeploy its troops from Iraq within a specific time frame.