Speaking to the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Amir Mousavi referring to Iraq’s internal situation, stated: “The demonstrations and public protests were eased to some extent after Iraqi protesters brutally murdered a teenager in Baghdad’s al-Wathba Square. The incident had extensive repercussions because it was a heinous and a big crime against the 17-year-old teenager, which showed that the demonstrations in the country have become ISIS style.
He said that the squares where the protesters were gathering are gradually being evacuated and two important areas of Baghdad are almost vacant. He added that a small number of protesters are present at Freedom Square and other cities. In this respect, the statement issued by Ayatollah Sistani stressing the need to reopen schools and universities and demanding calm and peaceful protests was extremely effective.
Adoption of New Election Law; Major Breakthrough
The Middle East affairs analyst considered the adoption of a new law on parliamentary elections a major development in Iraq and noted: Almost all parties agreed to the law, even those who had voiced some opposition. After all, the law has taken into account the demands of the grand religious leaders and the protesters and can create a positive development.
Mousavi said that until now some of the demands of the people have been met with the adoption of the new law, adding that this alone can create new space in the current situation and show that reforms are taken seriously. The majority of Iraqis are silent population under the current situation. Those who are in the field right now are really the minority, and especially in the last week to 10 days their numbers have declined sharply, indicating that the number of protesters is very low.
But there are parties who do not want peace in Iraq and want legal reforms implemented according to the law; therefore, they seek to provoke riots, destruction and disruption, the analyst said.
Attempts by US Embassy, Saudi & UAE Media to Create Chaos
“The US embassy and the Saudi and UAE media are working hard to prevent tranquility return to Iraq,” he said. Up to now, they have been provoking the people and try to disturb the relative calm that has been created in Iraq. But the pace of developments show that things are advancing desirably.
Noting that the proposed prime minister will be interim, Mousavi added: “He will be in charge for a maximum of one year and maybe 7 or 8 months.” He must take over the rewriting of the constitution. In addition, he will be in charge of holding referendum on the Iraqi political system under the new constitution and, ultimately, will hold early presidential and parliamentary elections. They need some peace of mind to implement these reforms.”
Barham Salih’s Protest Trip to Sulaimaniyah
Commenting on news reports that Iraqi President Barham Salih has resigned following the nomination of Basra Governor Asaad al-Eidani as the Prime Minister, Salih has said he was prepared to resign if he was forced to endorse the governor of Basra as the prime minister. Salih visited Sulaimaniyah in a sign of protest.
He explained: As a majority faction, Al Banna introduced Asaad al-Eidani” in a letter to the president. He is a relatively acceptable prime minister and is endorsed by all groups. There was concern that he would not be accepted among protesters outside the parliament, since they wanted someone outside the current government to be nominated as prime minister. But Eidani was highly critical of the government and the political system and has no record of financial corruption. He has the necessary conditions to be accepted.
US Pressure on Salih to Reject Proposed Shiite Prime Minister
Mousavi, referring to Barham Salih’s letter saying he could not accept Al-Eidani as prime minister because of people’s opposition with the governor of Basra, said: “Of course it was clear. His trip to Sulaimaniyah shows he insists on this and is under pressure from the Americans because the United States will not allow a prime minister backed by Shiite groups in parliament to come to power.
Al-Eidani is a strong and positive person with no corruption background. If the president unites with the parties, the religious authorities will also support and the majority of the people will accept him.
Unlawful Action Contrary to the Wishes of Religious Authorities
Mousavi added: “What Barham Salih has done is illegal and contrary to the religious authorities’ mandate, which emphasized the need to form a government as soon as possible.” Unless the president approves the prime minister in a timely manner, he is illegal. He must have held talks and the entire process was illegal from the beginning. We need to see what the parliament decides. The argument is not merely about Eidani. Anyone to be introduced by Al Banna faction seems to be rejected. Apparently they want the chaos in Iraq to continue.
America’s Attempt to Create Security Tension to Accomplish Goals
He added that under the current situation the United States is imposing conditions on Iraq, adding: “By instigating ISIS in northern Baghdad and western Iraq, they are seeking to create security tension to achieve their goals.” So far, the Popular Militia and the Iraqi army have been able to thwart recent ISIS movements.”
Mousavi said the Americans were seeking certain nominees for prime minister, but they were rejected by the majority of the people and by parliament. We have to see how things are going in the coming days.
He also commented on the positions of the Sadr Movement in recent days regarding the nomination of the Prime Minister: “The movement is seeking a general referendum on the election of the Prime Minister, but this action cannot be taken and is fundamentally illegal.”