06 May 2021
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President Trump’s decision to withdraw additional troops from Iraq risks expanding Iran’s influence in Baghdad by undercutting the prime minister’s efforts to counter Tehran’s proxy fighters. “Iran and its militias are going to be the primary beneficiaries of any prompt drawdown or withdrawal,” the Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu said. “It puts pressure on those who Washington will be predisposed to work with to begin to hedge closer towards Iran.” Iraq is one of the key theaters of American…

Meir Litvak on Iran's Use of Armed Proxies Saturday, 21 November 2020 04:19

Meir Litvak, associate professor in the Department of Middle Eastern and African History at Tel Aviv University, spoke to participants in an October 5 Middle East Forum webinar (video) about Iran's use of proxies to advance its regional hegemonic ambitions. Iran takes advantage of local conflicts in Arab states by mobilizing Shi'ite communities who often suffer discrimination, harnessing their grievances to organize militias and exploit existing unrest. Litvak explained that, contrary to popular wisdom, "Iran is a rational state conducting…
Following the one-year anniversary of anti-government protests in Iraq, protestors returned to the streets calling for transparent elections, youth employment and an end to government corruption and foreign interference. Like in 2019, the main protests took place on 1 October and 25 October, with Baghdad’s Tahrir Square at the epicentre of the movement. Thousands of Iraqis also gathered in cities across the Shia-dominated south – including Najaf, Nasiriyah and Basra – to demand the fall of the ruling class. This…
Breaking a nearly one-month lull, Tuesday night’s rocket attack on Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone could put at risk a fragile truce. In October, a ceasefire was announced by a group of powerful Iran-backed militias to allow the withdrawal of US forces. Shortly before midnight, seven rockets were fired from the Shiite-dominated east side of Baghdad towards the Green Zone, the seat of key government offices and western diplomatic missions, according to the government. Only four rockets landed in the Green…
For many immigrants who come to the United States — starting a life and pursuing their dreams can be difficult. Not only are there language barriers and financial challenges — but immigrations laws are tightening and the amount of refugees allowed in each year is decreasing. Yet one Colorado man wants to serve as a symbol of hope. Ali Ghassan was born and raised in Iraq. After finding a love for art — he left his home country in the midst…
On August 27, the government of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi formed a committee to investigate major cases of corruption in Iraq, acknowledging the ongoing frustration among Iraqis with the rampant corruption that has plagued the country. Successive Iraqi governments after the U.S. invasion and the fall of Saddam have proved unsuccessful in managing the country’s economic and security issues, advancing living conditions for Iraqi people, or improving public services. Rather, year after year, corruption in the Iraqi system has increased…
AFP on Sunday found Iraq divided over the U.S. presidential election. Pro-Iran factions, including terrorist groups like the one that killed an American civilian contractor near Kirkuk in December 2019, were pleased to hear that American media outlets had proclaimed President Donald Trump lost the election to challenger Joe Biden. Others were unhappy with that outcome, especially those who feared a Biden victory would embolden Iran and its proxies in Iraq. Iran-controlled factions in Iraq were excited by President Trump’s reported…
The reactions of the pro-Iran militias is breeding concern among those opposed to Iranian influence in Iraq. BAHDAD - Iraq’s pro-Tehran factions have welcomed Joe Biden’s election as US president, alarming officials and activists in Baghdad who fear a US-Iran de-escalation could empower hardliners in their own country. Baghdad has long been caught in a tug-of-war for influence between its ally Washington and neighbour Tehran, made even more tense by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran since…

A Biden victory would be a loss for Iraq Thursday, 05 November 2020 17:14

U.S. presidential elections have had a significant impact on Iraq, from the 2002 decision to invade Iraq to the 2020 strike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a contentious history in Iraq that may have many Iraqi leaders in fear of a Biden victory.  Directly after taking office, President Obama appointed Vice President Biden to oversee U.S. operations and diplomacy in Iraq. At that time, Iraq had begun to stabilize. The once-formidable al Qaeda in Iraq…
Teheran considers Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, President Barham Salih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi as allies of Saudi Arabia and the United States. But local and international entanglements complicate is calculations. BAGHDAD – A political source in Baghdad revealed that Iran plans to overthrow the three presidents in Iraq ahead of early parliamentary elections scheduled for the summer of 2021, but its ambitions are facing serious difficulties. Since the ousting of Iran’s ally and former Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his…

Everywhere Iraqis turn, there is darkness Monday, 02 November 2020 03:45

Iraq is in a tragically dark place. The pandemic ravages what is left of a tattered economy while armed militias gun down critics and rivals with impunity. Protests, the last refuge of an exhausted, desperate Iraqi populace, have ceased to be an effective tool to influence those in power. Even as streets swell with non-partisan, non-sectarian crowds, their pleas fall on the deaf ears of an increasingly entrenched political elite emboldened by a mostly uninterested international community. The disastrous US-led…

New EIFA Report : Iran’s Support for Islamic Fundamentalist Groups,  Relations With al-Qaeda & Sunni Extremists Under Scrutiny

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Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri

Exclusive: Biography and record of Hadi ...

-European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA)- Hadi Farhan Abdullah al-Ameri, know...