23 January 2021
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On Thursday morning, Baghdad witnessed twin suicide bombings in a busy market that killed 32 people and wounded more than 100 others. It was the bloodiest such attack in many years. Coming only a day after the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, the attack is a reminder that the dangers facing Iraq from extremism remain very real, and that the country’s situation is still precarious in many ways. The attack also serves as a reminder that Iraq needs to be on…

Iraq: We Can Steal It For You Wholesale Thursday, 21 January 2021 16:54

he government is being pressured by the United States to crack down on Iranian weapons shipments being allowed to cross the border into Syria at guarded border crossings. The weapons shipments are often hidden from view by legitimate cargo, but it does not take much effort to reveal that deception. These weapons shipments are guarded by Iran-backed PMF (Popular Mobilization Forces) militias. There are fewer of these militiamen because their primary reason for being in an Iran-backed militia is the…
The United States sanctioned Iraqi Popular Mobilization Committee (PMC) chairman and former Iraqi National Security Advisor Falih Al-Fayyadh on January 8 for his alleged connection to grave human rights abuses. In a statement, the US Department of the Treasury disclosed that throughout the October 2019 protests that swept Iraq, “Iran-aligned elements of the PMC attacked civilians demonstrating against corruption, unemployment, economic stagnation, and Iranian interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs.” According to the Treasury Department’s designation, Al-Fayyadh was involved with a “crisis cell” made…
Militias need war to legitimise them. That is how the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and elsewhere in the region justify their existence. Iraq has seen plenty of war for 40 years, but the latest threat, from ISIS, has been seen off with American help, and the US will soon withdraw its troops. If there ever was a need for the militias – which is doubtful – it is no longer there. But despite all entreaties, the Iraqi militias refuse to…
With less than two weeks left in office, the Trump administration has publicly accused the Iranian regime of having ties with the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed the link on Tuesday using recently declassified intelligence material during a speech to the National Press Club in Washington. This was the first time a US secretary of state had provided evidence of the links between the Tehran regime and Al-Qaeda. The intelligence included information on the assassination…
BAGHDAD – One year after US forces assassinated Iran’s most storied commander, tensions are boiling between Iraq’s Washington-backed premier and pro-Tehran forces that accuse him of complicity in the Baghdad drone strike. US President Donald Trump sent shock waves through the region on January 3, 2020 with the targeted killing of Iran’s revered General Qasem Soleimani and his Iraqi lieutenant, which infuriated the Islamic republic and its allies. Trump said the strike came in response to a hail of attacks…
Iraqis fear a flare-up in sectarian tensions after Iran vowed revenge for killing military leader Qassem Soleimani in January. But some fear that factions within the Iraqi security forces could also threaten stability. January 3 marks the first anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani. The major general was killed in a US-directed drone attack while visiting Baghdad. In a statement earlier this month, Iran's religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, repeated his country's desire for revenge. For Iraqis, this may well pose…
For outsiders, all Shia groups know just one master, Iran, a Shia-majority country. But recent escalations between the two Shia groups disprove that understanding. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Tehran has aimed to increase its political and military presence across the Middle East, creating its own Shia proxies like Lebanon’s Hezbollah to dominate the Middle East.  With the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Washington unexpectedly helped Iran play its political game better, removing one of Tehran’s fiercest enemies,…
New comments by Iran’s Foreign Minister has drawn criticism from Afghan analysts about the role the regime’s proxy group will play in the absence of US forces. Speaking on a local Afghan TV channel, Javad Zarif said the IRGC’s Fatemiyoun Division were “the best forces”. “If the Afghan government so decides, they can help the Afghan government fight against Daesh,” he said on December 20.   Zarif also defended the creation of the Fatemiyoun Division by the Iranian regime, which…
The leaking of Iraq’s federal budget has provoked widespread anger. The budget will devalue the Iraqi dinar and cut public sector salaries, amid an escalating healthcare, economic and political crisis. Thousands took to the streets, blocking the main roads leading to oil installations and bridges in oil-rich Basra city, and the port of Umm Qasr in the south of the country, demanding unpaid wages. There were protests in several areas of Basra province by day-rate employees of the government, including…

Iraq’s real problem is a political one Friday, 25 December 2020 03:50

The devaluation of the Iraqi dinar is one of the measures taken by the Iraqi government to cope with the country’s grave economic crisis. Although analysts seem to put the blame on the current low oil prices and crude production cuts, in fact this unprecedented 20 percent devaluation is the result of years of suffering under the pressure of Iranian militias and the diversion of wealth toward Tehran. In a way, the situation is similar to what Lebanon is experiencing…
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