Iran Proxy Claims Iraqi PM Wants Normalization With Israel

Says Kadhimi might meet with Israel's PM at GCC +3 summit

This weekend’s GCC+3 summit in Saudi Arabia is fueling some controversy in Iraq. Iraq PM Mustafa Kadhimi will attend the summit, and his rivals in pro-Iran proxy groups think he’s up to something.

It’s not clear how this got started, but Ketaib Hezbollah figures are claiming that some Israelis might attend the summit, expanding that to PM Yair Lapid possibly being there, and then suggesting Kadhimi will normalize ties with them while there.

There is no evidence of any of this, and Lapid almost certainly won’t be there. If Israel has anyone there at all, it would be to talk anti-Iran NATO, not to negotiate with Iraq.

The US is trying to come up with anti-Iran coalitions, and timing this summit during Biden’s visit makes some sense that it would continue this effort here.

That said, diplomacy with Israel is controversial almost anywhere in the region, and Kadhimi isn’t naive to that fact. Getting into normalization talks is politically risky, and Kadhimi just isn’t in that position.

Kadhimi, after all, is a lame duck premier, and that he’s even still in power in an accident of history, that the last election still isn’t fully resolved to replace him.

If noirmalization was on the table, and there’s no sign it is, Israel would surely want to normalize with an incoming prime minister with a mandate, and not just signing documents with Kadhimi in the hopes that the deal would stick in the future.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of