How Iraq’s neighbors look at the new crisis in their midst. The region weighs in on Iraq.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, zooming into Baghdad today after strongly hinting in Cairo yesterday that Iraqi leader Nouri al-Maliki needs to go. Flying in from Amman, as ISIS militants took Iraq’s main border post with Jordan. Flying on to meet with more Arab leaders about the crisis. Almost every player in the Mideast and larger region has a sharp interest in what emerges from the stunning blow-up in Iraq. Some could crank it up. Some might crank it down. This hour On Point: we go to Turkey, the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia and Iran – on the blow-up in Iraq.
– Tom Ashbrook
Mohammad Marandi, Iranian political scientist. Professor at the University of Tehran’s Institute for North American and European Studies.
Soli Ӧzel, Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Kadir Has University. Foreign news editor and columnist for the Gazete Habertürk, a large daily newspaper in Turkey.
Siraj Wahab, Senior Editor at Arab News, a leading English news site in Saudi Arabia. (@sirajwahab)
Shadi Hamid, fellow at the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. Author of the new book, “Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.” (@shadihamid)
Also: Egypt Update
In Egypt, three Al Jazeera journalists were jailed for seven years in a case that has raised questions about the country’s respect for media freedom.
From Tom’s Reading List
Middle East Eye: Turkey vulnerable amid crisis in Iraq – For Turkey, the ISIL offensive and the taking of 80 hostages, indicates a growing insurgency that could potentially disrupt its stability and impact domestic politics ahead of the presidential election in August.
The Guardian: Saudi Arabia rejects Iraqi accusations of Isis support – The fear in Saudi Arabia is of an Afghan-style “blowback” of returning jihadis.
Al Jazeera: Why is Iraq so important to Iran? – Iraq is hugely important to Iran. The majority of Iraq’s population are Shia Muslim, as is Iran. Iraq is also home to the holy cities of Najaf and Kerbala, and to the Askari shrine. These sites are important to all Muslims, but for the Islamic Republic of Iran they represent the very heart of Shia history.