The President of Iraq, Barham Saleh, said that he was “ready to resign” rather than pick a new prime minister from a pro-Iran party. The reason for this is that protestors in Iraq are raging against Iran’s excessive influence over their country, and picking a politician from an Iran-backed party would only ignite more violence on the streets after hundreds have already died in the demonstrations (according to Time Magazine, around 500 people have died so far).
The head of the pro-Iran bloc is Asaad al-Edani, the governor of the Basra and the one who Saleh has refused to choose to be Iraq’s next prime minister. “Out of my desire to stop blood and maintain peace, and with due respect to Asaad al-Edani, I refuse to nominate him,” Salih said. “Therefore I put my willingness to resign the post of president to members of parliament so that they decide as representatives of the people what they see fit.” In a letter to parliament, Saleh wrote that he wished to guarantee the “independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity” of Iraq. The Iraqi constitution requires that the president appoint to the office of prime minister whoever the biggest bloc in parliament desires. The biggest bloc is al-Dina which is pro-Iran. Saleh was in a difficult predicament, because by appointing al-Edani he would be empowering a pro-Iran party and at the same time fueling the anger of the protestors. “With all my respect to (Basra province governor) Mr. Assaad al-Aidani, I decline to put him forward” for the post, Saleh wrote.
Understanding that his refusal to appoint al-Edani could be a violation of the constitution, Saleh affirmed: “I place before members of parliament my readiness to resign from the position of president”.
Protestors have been enraged over Iran’s meddling in their country. In the midst of the demonstrations, in which hundreds have been killed by security forces, you have a deadlock in parliament over who is going to be the next prime minister. Political analyst Ahmed Younis, explains:
“The president has found himself between the rock of the pro-Iran parties and the hard place of the people, but he chose to side with the protesters … By saying he is ready to resign he is responding to pressure from Iran and its allies, saying he would rather quit than be a scapegoat. He pulled the rug from under the pro-Iran parties and chose to stand with the protesters.”
The instability taking place in Iraq is the inevitable effects of the power vacuum that manifested after the US toppled Saddam, in which Shiites and Sunnis are struggling for domination over the country, and a populace, exasperated by Iranian meddling and economic woes, are protesting for sovereignty and a better financial condition. “The government is hostage to corrupt parties and sectarian divisions”, said one activist, Sattar Jabbar, 25, in the southern city of Nasiriyah. The Shiite side (which is really the pro-Iran bloc), are now affirming that it was the United States who pressured Saleh to resign. Iraqi lawmaker, Barham Salih (who is of the al-Binah faction), affirmed:
“There are American pressures on President Barham Salih to prevent him from nominating the majority bloc nominee Edani …
The president threatening to resign is a dereliction of his constitutional duty and a dangerous step… Barham admitted he was violating the constitution, which gives us the right to hold him accountable in parliament and dismiss him.”
The United States and Iran appear to be competing for power in Iraq. In October of 2019, the last prime minister of Iraq, Abdel Abdul Mahdi, wanted to resign but was prevented by Iranian Major General Qassem Suleimani. Leaked cables from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security between 2013 to 2015, showed that many of Iraq’s top political, military, and security officials have had close ties with Tehran for years.
The last prime minister, Adel Abdel Mahdi, resigned in November 30th of 2019 after protestors pressured him out of office.
Iraq is never going to get its sovereignty, because she is either a tool for the Americans or the Iranians (and soon, the Turks, who are eyeing Iraq as another installment for their enterprise of expansionism). At the same time of these protests in Iraq, you also have had the demonstrations in Iran in which, according to Amnesty International, hundreds have been killed by security forces. What we are witnessing is a proxy war between the US and Iran over Iraq, and it looks like the US does have a hand in the demonstrations in Iran. According to the Jordan Times, various CIA linked activists have been arrested by Iranian authorities:
Iran has arrested eight people it accused of CIA links and sending abroad information on recent urban unrest, days after the United States said it had received thousands of messages on a protest crackdown in the Islamic republic.
New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused Tehran of “deliberately covering up” more than 140 deaths that it said came when security forces suppressed demonstrations against a sharp fuel price hike.
Iran said that among the more than 500 people arrested were eight who were “linked to the CIA”, state news agency IRNA said late on Wednesday, citing the head of the intelligence ministry’s counterespionage department.
“Some elements who tried to collect information about the recent riots and send them out of the country… were identified and arrested,” the director general was quoted as saying.
Six of them were alleged to have been at “the riots and carrying out orders”, IRNA reported, without naming the official.
Two others were arrested before they could leave the country, the news agency said, and all had been “trained in different countries on how to collect information… as citizen-journalists”.
Iran’s arch-foe the United States has said it received thousands of messages from the Islamic republic about the protests, including photos and videos, after issuing an appeal for people to defy sweeping internet restrictions.
“We’ve received to date nearly 20,000 messages, videos, pictures, notes of the regime’s abuses through Telegram messaging services,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, referring to the encrypted app.
We have demonstrations in Iraq that are anti-Iran; we have anti-government protests in Iran; the Iranian government has affirmed that they have arrested eight activists linked to the CIA; the US government confirms that they have been receiving tens of thousands of messages from Iran on the protests and the violence of Iranian authorities. So it makes sense that the CIA would be involved since they are, indeed, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the US has been receiving intelligence on the situation in Iran. Moreover, the CIA history in causing instability in Iran cannot be ignored, since the CIA played a huge role in the overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh.
Iranian operatives pretending to be Communists threatened Muslim leaders with ”savage punishment if they opposed Mossadegh,” seeking to stir anti-Communist sentiment in the religious community.
In addition, the secret history says, the house of at least one prominent Muslim was bombed by C.I.A. agents posing as Communists. It does not say whether anyone was hurt in this attack.
In 2017, it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that the CIA was intensely operating within Iran:
“The Central Intelligence Agency has established an organization focused exclusively on gathering and analyzing intelligence about Iran, reflecting the Trump administration’s decision to make that country a higher priority target for American spies”
The protests in Iraq and Iran are not solely grassroots movements, but really an anger of the people being exploited by the the US empire, part of a proxy war between the American empire and the regional power of Iran.