09 August 2020
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Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is a diplomat who is savvy and accustomed to donning kid gloves to tempt those he deals with. This has been to his advantage, allowing him to achieve or obtain what he wants on most occasions, especially in negotiations and dialogue with friends and opponents alike. For this he is favoured by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has backed him in response to attacks from his rivals within the regime who sought to…
n his June 25, 2020 column in the Iraqi online daily Sotalitaq.com, journalist Mahdi Qassem came out against the pro-Iranian Shi'ite movements and parties in the Arab world, such as the Shi’ite parties in Iraq, Hizbullah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen.  These movements and parties, which are identified with Shi'ite political Islam, he wrote, have brought upon their countries nothing but ruin, corruption, poverty and unemployment by usurping public funds and neglecting public services. He contrasted them with…
Iraq’s finance minister has warned of “severe security consequences” if its economy is not “restructured radically”, as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on business and an oil price crash hits state revenues. “Issues which were buried because of large and growing oil revenues are now crystallising,” said Ali Allawi, the country’s new Harvard and MIT-educated finance minister, referring to bloated spending and a monthly wage bill of $5bn for its vast public payroll. This includes payments for what he estimated…
Iran has recently taken a notable interest in helping Iraq and Syria build up their  limited air defenses, aiming to give them the capability to counter Israeli airstrikes. An agreement struck in July to improve Syrian air defenses authorizes Iran to deploy two of its air defense missile systems on Syrian soil, according to a report by the newspaper Raialyoum cited by The Tehran Times, potentially the domestically made Iranian Bavar-373 and 3rd Khordad missiles, which are in some ways comparable to…

Iran’s terrorism knows no limits Sunday, 19 July 2020 12:51

Iran has a plan for the world. It is the scheme of the Iranian regime to spread terror as far as it can. Shamefully, it appears to have carried out the reprehensible act of assassinating the brave political writer and analyst Hisham Al-Hashimi in Baghdad last week.Al-Hashimi had written an article exposing the corruption attributable to the Hezbollah branch in Iraq known as Kata’ib Hezbollah. He paid a heavy price for his courage. But Al-Hashimi was not the first victim…
Receiving death threats from Shiite militias was no surprise to Iraqi security analyst Hisham al-Hashemi, who had long warned of the danger such armed groups posed to rebuilding the Iraqi state after years of war. But Mr. Hashemi – gunned down on July 6 in front of his Baghdad house – could hardly have predicted his own assassination would become a key episode in the escalating battle between a new Iraqi prime minister and the defiant Iran-backed militias like Kata’ib Hezbollah that…
BAGHDAD –Iraqi political and popular forces opposed to Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi are working to pressure the government in Parliament and on the street, with the aim of bringing it down. According to some sources, this summer’s confrontations are expected to be quite heated. The anti-Kadhimi political forces belong to Iran’s close allies in Iraq. Informed sources in Baghdad said leaders of the Fatah Alliance, the second largest parliamentary bloc in the Iraqi parliament, have had contacts with the leader…
A major assassination in Iraq has hit the headlines for the second time this year. Last week’s killing of leading security expert Hisham Al-Hashemi, who advised both the president and prime minister, has rocked the Iraqi establishment. He was shot dead by gunmen riding on motorbikes. Al-Hashemi had pushed for robust actions against Iraq’s militias, calling them a threat to the state. He paid for this position with his life. Many observers believe this was the bloody and deliberate response…
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As lower oil prices and a coronavirus-driven downturn batter Iraq’s economy, availability of safe water is eroding and could fuel greater tensions, security experts warned on Wednesday. Hospitalisations due to worsening contamination from sewage, agricultural runoff and chemical dumping are high, especially in southern Iraq, and families now reliant on bottled water may struggle to afford it as incomes dive, they said. “There are layers and layers and layers of problems,” said Azzam Alwash, founder…
Husham al-Hashimi — an extremism expert and anti-corruption advocate — was shot outside his home on Monday As a journalist in Iraq, Lawk Ghafuri is accustomed to reporting on assassinations.  But nothing could have prepared him for Monday night, when news broke that Husham al-Hashimi — a prominent Iraqi analyst, and a personal friend of Ghafuri's — had been gunned down outside his Baghdad home.  "The hardest part was when I wrote about his death," Ghafuri, who covers Iraq for…
BAGHDAD — A raid ordered by Iraq's new prime minister on militiamen accused of planning an attack against Baghdad's international zone could mark a turning point in his government's efforts to bring Iran-backed groups to heel. The arrest of 14 members of Kataib Hezbollah late last month marked the boldest move yet by any Iraqi leader against the Iran-linked militias, which often operate in Iraq outside the law. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who took office in May, has vowed to…

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