Iraq Ruling Parties Embrace Iranian Plan for Them to Stay in Power

Reforms would delay early election until next year

Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and his government have been seen as on the way out for months, unable to satisfy protesters’ demands, and even when offers of reforms seemed to satisfy them, unwilling to deliver on those promises.

Over the past week, Iran has been pushing an idea that would allow the existing Iraqi government to survive, with promises of some reforms to delay elections into next year, and the assumption that Iran could come up with a way to keep a pro-Iranian government in power by then.

The US had largely stayed out the protests, but in recent days has gone public with demanding early elections. This is almost certainly the result of Iran coming out against early elections and trying to save the existing government.

Historically though, the US and Iran have both been close with the Iraqi governments, despite being at odds with one another. The US may feel obliged to take an opposite position to Iran, but it’s not clear a new Iraqi government would benefit either side more than the other, and with protesters broadly opposed to international interference, it’s likely they’ll be pushing hard for an independent leadership, something the US has generally not been happy with.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.