Executive Intelligence Review


Iraq Descending into Chaos

Sept. 11, 2018 (EIRNS)—One reason why Iranians opposed to the Islamic Revolution ought to be very cautious about accepting U.S. “help” can be found right next door, in the chaos that is enveloping Iraq. The riots, last week, in the southern city of Basra were largely triggered by the collapse of the city’s water and electricity systems. Thousands of people have been treated in Basra’s hospitals for water-borne diseases contracted from contaminated drinking water. However, evidence that political factors have been injected into Basra’s turmoil were evident in the attack and burning of the Iranian Consulate. While this led some observers to conclude that the riots had an anti-Iranian character, U.S. diplomatic facilities, as well as the Green Zone in Baghdad have also been attacked.

The turmoil in Basra also comes in the context of a political crisis in Baghdad, where Shi’ite and Kurdish political factions have been trying to form a government in the wake of parliamentary elections that were held last May. News reports on the situation, taken together, indicate that the U.S. is playing a large role in trying to force an agreement that would keep the caretaker Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi in the job, rather than let it go to his rival, the cleric Moqtada al Sadr, whose bloc actually won the most votes, though far from a majority.

However, the recent riots in Basra have weakened Abadi’s position with several factional leaders, al Sadr among them, who are calling on him to resign. Al Sadr is opposed by the U.S. because he is perceived to be close to the Iranian leadership, though his actual relationship appears to be more ambiguous than that.