How the Middle Eastern press is reporting Iraq's elections:
Nations that have adversarial relationships with the United States, namely Syria and Iran, viewed the vote largely through the prism of the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Likewise, the Iranian state-run Press TV covered Moktada al-Sadr’s address in Tehran in which he urged his Shiite followers to use their votes to help end the occupation.
Syria, still overwhelmed with Iraqi refugees, is likely to view internal instability in Iraq as a threat to its own security and to its expectation of finally having the U.S. out of the region. And while Tehran may prefer a strong, centralized Iraqi government as its ally, the possibility could further alienate Saudi Arabia, which fears a powerful Iraq aligned with Iran. Ali Yunis, an analyst who appeared on Al Arabiya television on Saturday, warned that “if the new government is a nationalistic Iraqi government, not allied with Iran, in America’s terms, the Americans will act differently,” meaning an earlier troop withdrawal.