03 December 2021
English Arabic
As the biggest winners of Iraq’s 10 October parliamentary elections coordinate efforts to form the upcoming government, opposition parties have so far failed to crystalise a coherent approach to pushing for long-suspended reforms. Although the election witnessed the lowest ever turnout, at just 41 percent, it was the first early vote to be held in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003 that toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein and replaced it with a ruling system that was hoped to be democratic. But the…
The three drones that targeted the residence of the Iraqi Prime Minister were sent to deliver a clear message to the heart of Baghdad’s state power: it is not through the ballot box alone that power is wielded in Iraq. The Prime Minister was slightly injured by the explosion and remained defiant: we know the perpetrators very well, he said in a televised address the same day, and we will pursue them. In truth, however, the perpetrators scarcely intended to…

Kadhimi's last chance Thursday, 11 November 2021 21:57

There is no need to wait for the result of the investigations committee to guess who was behind the attempted assassination of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at dawn last Sunday. The Fatah Alliance militias, led by Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq and Kata'ib Hezbollah, are loyal to Iran and have viewed Al-Kadhimi as their main rival in Iraq. They have threatened him on several occasions and have never hidden the fact that they want to get rid of him, even as…
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an armed drone attack Sunday on his official residence in Baghdad that wounded seven of his guards. The attack, which involved Iranian-made drones, was an assassination attempt that sends a message of intimidation to Kadhimi and any other Iraqis who pose a challenge to the influence of Iran and its proxy militias inside Iraq. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iraqi security officials blamed Iran-backed Iraqi militias, which increasingly have challenged the authority…

Iranian Drones Cast Intimidating Shadow Over Iraq Wednesday, 10 November 2021 23:15

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi survived an armed drone attack Sunday on his official residence in Baghdad that wounded seven of his guards.  The attack, which involved Iranian-made drones, was an assassination attempt that sends a message of intimidation to Kadhimi and any other Iraqis who pose a challenge to the influence of Iran and its proxy militias inside Iraq. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Iraqi security officials blamed Iran-backed Iraqi militias, which increasingly have challenged the authority…
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has survived an attempt on his life after suspected Shia militias launched a drone strike on his official residence in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad early on Sunday morning. While the prime minister emerged unscathed and later gave a public address decrying the attack and calling for dialogue, the attack itself has been viewed as a deadly message designed to re-establish Shia militia dominance after they were trounced in last month’s elections. Meanwhile, the winner of the…

Iraq’s Protesters Become Parliamentarians Wednesday, 10 November 2021 22:59

A Tenuous Coalition Seeks to Topple Baghdad’s Elite Consensus On October, Iraq held its fifth parliamentary election since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. The polls took place in a moment of deep gloom and anger with the political process. Many Iraqis across the country refused to vote out of the conviction that elections have not deepened democracy but instead have reinforced the unaccountable and corrupt political system that has prevailed since the toppling of Saddam Hussein. As expected, turnout for the…
How can we understand what is currently happening in Iraq in terms of the violence, in the form of sabotage and fighting with live bullets or booby-trapped drones that occurred in the wake of elections that were marketed as one of the fairest and transparent elections that Iraq has known, since its invasion in 2003? And which were welcomed, globally, as the highest stages of the "democratic political process" established by the US and the UK with the participation of…

Iran’s growing concerns about the new Iraq Wednesday, 27 October 2021 20:51

Throughout history, Iran has engaged in efforts to counter Iraq’s identity, with the latter’s geographic location — bordering Persia on one side and Turkey on another — permitting it to represent the Arab world in direct conflict against Tehran and Ankara more than any other country. Iraq was the first target of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini-engineered expansionist project, which sparked a devastating eight-year war between the two countries from 1980 to 1988. Neither country achieved substantial success during the conflict. Iran…
Iraq’s Shiite militias that often serve as a proxy for neighboring Iran have taken a beating in Iraq’s election, while a Shiite cleric who set himself apart by taking a more nationalistic approach has emerged as Iraq’s strongest political figure. The results underscore growing divisions over Iran’s heavy-handed influence in the country, weakening Iran’s allies as it seeks to revive its nuclear deal with world powers and engage with its regional rival, Saudi Arabia. It also heightens tensions among Shiite…
Iraqi voters this month made it clear they have had enough of Iran’s violent interference in the country’s politics. Under the direction of Tehran’s Quds Force — the external operations arm of its Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — Iraqi Shiite militias have assassinated dozens of activists, suppressed free speech and boasted about their allegiance to the Iranian regime. However, in the Oct. 10 elections, voters punished the militias’ candidates, who saw their bloc shrink from 48 to just 14 of…
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