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After Al-Kazemi was targeted, the Iraqi government’s dealings with the “Iranian militias”

With the increasing accusations of the involvement of Iranian-backed militias in the attempt to assassinate the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, questions are raised about the next steps that the Iraqi government may take to deal with these armed factions, and the shape of the future relationship between Baghdad and Tehran. 

While the US Department of Defense spokesman, John Kirby, on Monday, declined to identify who was responsible for the attack, stressing that there are multiple Iranian-backed groups operating inside Iraq and capable of carrying out such type of attacks.

Iranian weapons and militias

In an interview with Al-Hurra , on Monday, the commander of the US Central Military Command, Kenneth McKenzie, said that the attack on the Iraqi prime minister was “criminal”, accusing “Iranian militias of being behind it,” noting that Washington was “disturbed” by what happened.

The Iraqi analyst, Raad Hashem, told Al-Hurra that the assassination attempt came with drones owned exclusively by Iranian-backed factions. 

Al-Kazemi survived an assassination attempt, at dawn on Sunday, with two drones that targeted his residence in Baghdad, after they had launched from the northeast of the country. 

“This incident bears the hallmarks of pro-Iranian militias, which are the same fingerprints that targeted American interests in Iraq,” Hashem added. 

On the other hand, the Iranian academic and political researcher, Hussein Roeran, responds that “there is no information to prove that this drone is Iranian,” adding that “there may be another party that wanted a wedge between Iran and some parties to the government in Iraq.” 

In his interview with Al-Hurra, he added, “The investigation in this context began, but did not reach conclusions until we accuse this or that party, but Iran says decisively that it has no role, just as there is no role for many political currents that may disagree with Al-Kazemi in the political process.” 

political tension

The attempt to assassinate Al-Kazemi came amid political tension linked to the results of the parliamentary elections that were held a month ago and have not yet been resolved. 

The armed militias loyal to Iran, which have political arms in the state, reject the election results, and have escalated their protests in the recent period. Full of sounds.

Before the attack on the prime minister’s house, clashes took place between protesters demanding a recount of votes and security forces after attempts to storm the Green Zone, which contains government headquarters and foreign embassies, including the US embassy.

McKenzie said in his interview with Al-Hurra: “What we have seen are groups linked to Iran that see that they cannot hold power legally, and now they are resorting to violence to achieve their goals, and this is not good.”

He stressed that the Iraqi security forces “will be able to resist this, but this is worrying, that the Iranian-backed militias, in a clear way, have resorted to criminal acts against the Prime Minister of Iraq.”

Hashem speculates that targeting Al-Kazemi “may have come to deepen the dispute over the great crisis in Iraq, represented by the dissatisfaction of the Iranian-backed armed militias with the election results, but it has increased Al-Kazemi’s popularity and the people’s anger against these factions that want to empty the state of its content.” 

Effects of the attack on Al-Kazemi’s house with two drones
Effects of the attack on Al-Kazemi’s house with two drones

Hashem indicated that “the armed factions backed by Iran do not want to renew Al-Kazemi’s second term as prime minister, unlike the Americans and the countries of the region.” 

And he said, “Iran does not want that, because it finds that it is adversarial to the factions it supports. Therefore, it will not support him unless he makes conditional pledges that he will support” the factions that follow it. 

But Roweran disagrees with Hashem, saying: “Iran cannot accept insulting the prime minister, because he represents a key position on the Iraqi political map, and he is elected by the parliamentary majority in the end.”

He added, “It is not Iran that determines whether Al-Kazemi will continue as prime minister or if someone else will come, because the parliamentary majority is the one that determines this.” 

Al-Kazemi, 54, was the former Iraqi intelligence chief before becoming prime minister in May last year. The militias consider him to be close to the United States, and he has tried to balance Iraq’s alliances with both the United States and Iran.

Qaani visit 

On Sunday, Iran’s top military official, the commander of the Quds Force, visited Baghdad, General Ismail Qaani, and his visit lasted until Monday, two Iraqi officials told The Associated Press.

Roweran confirmed this visit, noting that “Al-Kazemi is the one who invited Qaani to come to Iraq to help solve the political crisis.” 

He said: “If Iran had not been able to play a positive role, Al-Kazemi would not have invited Qaani, who did not have any plan or travel program to Iraq yesterday, but this visit came due to the insistence of the Iraqi parties to mediate between all these parties and solve the problem based on the background of the elections.” “. 

He added, “Qaani denounced, as did the government in Tehran, the attempt to assassinate Al-Kazemi, and called on other parties that are escalating against the backdrop of the election crisis, to calm down and abide by the law.” 

bargains

However, Hashem believes that the Iraqi prime minister knows the participants in the assassination attempt, “and therefore the process of revealing the perpetrator will remain hostage to political bargains between Al-Kazemi and the militia parties that are behind the incident, and refuse the elections.” 

Al-Kazemi vowed to “prosecute the perpetrators of yesterday’s crime,” in reference to the attack that targeted his residence in Baghdad, stressing, “We know them well and we will expose them.”

Al-Kazemi stressed, during the Iraqi government session, Sunday, that “there are those who are trying to tamper with Iraq’s security and want it to be a gang state,” adding, “We want to build a state.”

In his interview with Al-Hurra, Hashem believes that “if the militias’ position hardens in the demands and does not calm the situation, he (Al-Kazemi) will highlight this paper, but if you decline, he will reduce the burden of revealing the investigation and accusing it directly.”  

He explained that he believed that Al-Kazemi “will try to persuade the Shiite militias that reject the elections to recognize the results of the elections and withdraw their demonstrators, or that their protests turn into symbolic numbers in small numbers, as well as seek to win his support or not to oppose the renewal of a second term.” 

Hashem does not believe that the matter will stop there “when he guarantees these three demands from them,” but rather indicates that Al-Kazemi will demand the “restructuring” of some militias loyal to Iran “based on international pressure, whether by reducing their numbers or arming them.” 

As for Tehran, Roeran does not see that this incident may affect relations between Iran and Iraq. 

While Hashem believes that Iran is involved in the attack and is practically responsible as long as the weapon is Iranian, “and therefore Al-Kazemi will use this card in exchange for not escalating his assassination attempt before the Security Council.” 

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