With Hundreds Dead and PM Resigning, Iran's Hold on Iraqi Politics Wanes


Suddenly, Iraq appears to be tottering.

The Iraqi prime minister is resigning and 400 are dead in protests that have spread across the country. Demonstrators are calling for an end to political corruption and the oversized role of neighbor Iran in its government.

Iran's handpicked prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, said he would resign Sunday, throwing the country into a period of further political instability.

According to Zvi Bar'el at Haaretz:

This will be a period during which anyone can attempt to influence the choice of prime minister and the composition of the government. Iran has the greatest interest in demonstrating its capacity to navigate this political process to its advantage. After losing its bid to keep Abdul-Mahdi in office, and out of concern that a victory for the demonstrators in Iraq would encourage protesters in Iran, Tehran has begun recruiting supporters in Shi’ite parties in Iraq, particularly in the Fatah Alliance — led by Hadi al-Amiri, the political leader of the Shi’ite paramilitary Popular Mobilization Units — in an effort to avoid further defeat.

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