Mon. Nov 18th, 2019

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Iraq protests threaten Iran’s influence

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Iraq protests : Massive demonstrations in Iraq pose a serious threat to Iran and its proxies in Baghdad, the Washington Post said, noting that Iran has instructed its Iraqi groups to snipe street demonstrators, kidnap prominent activists and target the media to end protests. The paper reviews a number of factors that support its approach to Iran, stressing that Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi prepared the letter of resignation, but Iran pressed to prevent the resignation, since it is for the first time fully control the rule in Iraq.

From Baghdad to the southern city of Karbala, Iraqis are pushing for the revolution and are massing in the central squares of enthusiastic youth facing riot police at nightfall. The newspaper adds that the streets of Iraq are not alien to power struggles, especially the stage of sectarian conflict and the emergence of “IS.” But the crowds are different this time, in other words, this is the largest popular movement in Iraq’s modern history: a new generation has emerged under the US-led and post-invasion invasion dominated by Iran.

The fall of clerics in Iraq

Although the unrest is confined to predominantly Shiite areas, prominent clerics have not mobilized for such demonstrations, nor have they targeted Iran’s influence in Iraq. The Iranian consulate in Karbala has been burned and its national flag torn down.

In scenes reminiscent of the fall of Saddam Hussein, protesters used their shoes to beat pictures of Tehran-backed militia leaders and symbols of Iran.

Interventions by Iran

Fearing the erosion of its influence, Iran is intervening to mobilize a brutal response, and according to Iraqi officials Iran has instructed its militias to assign snipers to shoot at street demonstrators.

Government officials say Iran this time pressured the weak Iraqi prime minister not to step down and was persuaded that the protests were a foreign conspiracy. As the last round of protests began in the second week, at least 264 people were killed and more than 12,000 injured, according to the country’s Human Rights Commission.

Iraqi security forces fired tear gas and live bullets into the air to disperse protesters in central Baghdad on Wednesday, beating captured youths as the biggest wave of anti-government demonstrations in decades spread across the capital and the Human Rights Commission said at least three people were killed.

The Iraqi Revolution with graffiti drawings

Since October 25, Baghdad’s Tahrir Square has become a vision of a different kind of Iraq where government authority is largely absent. There are young men and women cleaning the streets, painting walls of their revolutionary heroes and killing protesters. Hundreds of people flocked to the crowds.

Nearly 60 percent of Iraq’s 40 million people grew up in a political system drafted by the United States after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. He devoted power between religious and ethnic groups, which established corruption and the regime became a means by which Iran spread its influence. Iran has supported powerful militias that theoretically respond to the state but act on its own orders with the advantage of impunity.

The growth and continuation of the protests have stunned the political elites, starting on October 1 as a small cry against corruption and then spreading across much of the country by surprise.

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