Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has played the main powers in the Middle East off against each other – the U.S. axis focused on Saudi Arabia (and Israel) on one side and the Sino-Russia axis focused on Iran on the other. Overall, these efforts have been broadly successful, allowing Iraq to gain hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. whilst also playing a key part in the extension of Iran’s power across the region and beyond. With the onset of the U.S.’s new strategy to tie-in Arab states through a series of ‘relationship normalisation’ deals with Israel, though, the difficulties for Iraq in maintaining this perilous balancing act have increased markedly. This is particularly evident in the current rollout of a regional power grid across the Middle East and it may be that recent announcements in this regard finally tip Iraq off its diplomatic […]