06 July 2020
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Baghdad - Fadhel al-Nashmi Iraqi anti-government protesters are gearing up for a demonstration next week to press ahead with their demands despite the coronavirus outbreak. Iraqi activists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the pandemic has lately had a negative impact on their street protests despite their many successes, including the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the parliament’s vote on an electoral law. Protest groups in Baghdad, Babil and Nassiriyah are now calling for rallies to draw one million…
Five companies and 15 individuals sanctioned for transferring arms to Iran-backed armed groups The United States Treasury Department rolled out new sanctions against Iran on Thursday as Washington sticks to its guns on the maximum pressure policy on Tehran. The restrictions target five Iran and Iraq-based enterprises and 15 individuals over their support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and its elite Quds force, both designated by the US as terror groups. They are also accused of having transferred weapons to…
Iraq’s prime minister-designate Mustafa Al Kadhimi proposes to restrict access to weapons, curb corruption and hold early elections under a plan presented to Parliament, whose approval he needs to get the job. Mr Al Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief who does not belong to any party, is struggling to gain support among Iraq’s political factions before the May 9 deadline for his nomination to be confirmed by Parliament. President Barham Salih tipped Mr Al Kadhimi for the post in early…
Iraqi leaders need to cast aside the country's sectarian quota system and make compromises to ease the formation of a government and rebuild Baghdad's relationship with Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says. Speaking at a news conference at the State Department in Washington DC on Wednesday, Pompeo said the United States was watching closely as Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the Iraqi prime minister-designate, entered the third week of trying to form his government. Earlier this month, Iraq's president named intelligence chief…
Ansar al-Marjaiya on Friday called on other militias operating in Iraq, to follow its example in splitting from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in a clear sign of their rejection of the behavior of some factions loyal to Iran’s Wilayet al-Faqih. This week, Ansar al-Marjaiya, the Imam Ali, Ali Al Akbar and Abbas brigades split from the PMF and are now operating under supreme commander of the armed forces, a position occupied by outgoing Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. The…
n Iraqi protester was shot dead in Baghdad and seven others injured as anti-government protesters clashed with unknown gunmen late on Tuesday, according to the Iraqi Human Rights Commission. Clashes erupted near the capital's Al Khilani roundabout but it remains unclear what sparked the shooting especially as the mass demonstrations seen last October have waned amid political stalemate and orders for people to remain at home given the coronavirus pandemic. “Baghdad police chief said that protesters attacked security forces with…
Protesters in central Baghdad were faced with live fire on Tuesday evening just hours after Iraqi authorities eased coronavirus lockdown measures.At least ten people were shot when unidentified gunmen wearing civilian clothes attacked demonstrators, medical and human rights sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site. Iraqi media reports indicated that one protester died after being shot but the reports could not be confirmed.Gunmen arrived near Baghdad's central Tahrir Square in four-wheel-drive trucks without registration plates, security sources said. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, demonstrators have continued to gather…
Almost a month after Iraq officially ended its anti-government protests in the wake of the mounting concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus, the popular movement is making efforts to reaffirm its presence in the country. Activists representing some groups of the anti-government movement issued a statement on Thursday threatening the Iraqi authorities of continuing their protests after the “warrior break” imposed by health conditions related to the outbreak of COVID-19. It said the anti-government movement reiterates its position…
 Iranian propaganda is hard at work promoting the appointment of Iraq’s latest Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi, including putting religious minorities in the middle of the disagreements surrounding his designation. The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that his designation is the “right decision.” The Iranian ambassador to Iraq said that “our policy is not providing support for just one political group in Iraq. We respect all ethnicities and religious groups.”  The ambassador also said that Iran supports Iraq’s parliament because it represents the…
Iraqi President Barham Salih was keen during the official ceremony marking the appointment of Mustafa Kadhimi as prime minister-designate to film all political blocs that attended the event in a move that could be later used against them should they withdraw support for the new premier. Observers said Salih made sure that the ceremony was televised and that political blocs were clearly filmed so that they could not later accuse him of unilaterally appointed Kadhimi to his post, accusations he…
WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday offered up to $10 million for information on Sheikh Mohammad al-Kawtharani, a senior military commander of the Islamist group Hezbollah in Iraq who was an associate of the late Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Announcing the reward, the U.S. State Department said Kawtharani had "taken over some of the political coordination of Iran-aligned paramilitary groups" formerly organized by Soleimani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander killed in a U.S.dronestrike in Baghdad in January. "In this…

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