12 June 2021
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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…
Engineering graduates gathered again on Sunday to protest in front of the headquarters of the Shuaiba Refinery near Basra in southern Iraq because of the government's failure to respond to their demands to be hired by the oil companies. An earlier protest blocked the road leading to the refinery to prevent employees from entering. Shuaiba is one of the most important oil refining centres in the south. There have been numerous protests like this across Iraq in recent years. The…

Iraq: The War On Joy Wednesday, 23 December 2020 05:06

December 22, 2020: Iraq was hoping the IMF (International Monetary Fund) would help bail the government out of its growing budget deficit crises. An IMF audit team completed a ten-day examination of the economic situation on December 10th and reported that Iraq has the same problems it had for several years, only worse and that the solution was not more multi-billion-dollar loans but internal reforms that address the widespread corruption. Earlier audits had found that corrupt officials were responsible for $400 billion…
One year after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the number one man in promoting the Iranian regime’s terrorist policies in the region, the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of Iranian nuclear activities, took place, virtually without retaliation. Then, in the Belgian court in Antwerp, Assadollah Assadi, the diplomat terrorist of the regime in Austria, went on trial for carrying a bomb to be installed at the annual gathering of the Iranian Resistance, despite regime attempts to have him returned…
The Middle East boasts one of the largest youth populations in the world. However, corruption and conflict, often instigated by Iran’s influence, have caused economic decline and rampant unemployment. Indeed, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has further compounded these problems. Since late 2019, anti-government protests have swept across Middle Eastern nations such as Iraq and Lebanon, seeking to eradicate their corrupt leaders and give rise to a new era of progress and prosperity in the region. However, for this to happen, these conflict-ridden nations…

A vicious circle in Iraq Monday, 21 December 2020 03:13

When Mustafa Al-Kadhimi assumed office as Iraq’s prime minister in May this year, he made a string of reform promises, many of which made headlines and went from weeding out corruption to improving public services and restoring the nation’s battered sovereignty. Al-Kadhimi came to power after the largest wave of popular protests in Iraq’s recent history, tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, political instability, government dysfunction, corruption and increasing Iranian interference. With an ambitious reform plan promised by…

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