Moves by an Iraqi Sunni-dominated province to demand autonomy from Baghdad and rumors of coup d’etat led by Ba’athists have Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki very worried about the prospects of a rebellion.
Such an “Iraqi Spring” would enjoy the full financial and political backing of Saudi Arabia’s new Crown Prince, Nayef Ibn Abdul-Aziz. In recent years Nayef has seen his country’s influence in Iraq drop dramatically as Tehran’s star rose.
The uprising would be very different to the Arab Spring. Instead of a grassroots revolt against an autocratic ruler, this would see Sunnis revolt against the Shi’ite politicians imposed on them since Iran established its hegemony over Iraqi politics in 2003.