Iranian IRGC Quds Force Chief Qassem Soleimani Heads to Iraq Following Elections

In this Sept. 18, 2016 photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, center, attends a meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard commanders in Tehran, Iran. As Saudi Arabia holds a naval drill in the …
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Forces General Qassem Soleimani reportedly arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday to meet with the Shi’ite leaders following preliminary results from Saturday’s Iraq Parliamentary elections.

“(Qassem) Soleimani just arrived in Baghdad,” a source who wished to remain anonymous reportedly told Kurdistan 24. “His visit coincided with the announcement of the election results.”

Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s coalition was deemed the preliminary winner of the race by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC). The IHEC found that Hadi al-Amiri’s coalition is in second place, and current Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s group is listed in third place.

As Kurdistan 24 points out, al-Sadr has “far fewer ties to Tehran than Soleimani’s clear preferred victor, Al-Fatih Coalition leader Hadi al-Amiri,” which is likely the reason for Soleimani’s visit—to form Iraq’s next government.

According to Kurdistan 24, a source close to former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki told the publication of the possibility that four of the winners of the election could form a coalition which will be led by Nouri al-Maliki, whose party is the “State of Law Coalition.”

Muqtada al-Sadr, who heads the sectarian Sayirun (On the Move) Coalition, said he would not form a coalition with Maliki “in any case.”

According to Kurdistan 24, a source close to the government said that Soleimani appeared to be trying to persuade Amiri to ally himself with al-Maliki saying, “It seems that they want to isolate Sadr.”

On Tuesday, PM Abadi said there should be a recount if the country’s new electronic system is found to be faulty.

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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