US Officials: Iran Likely Didn’t Order Attack on Iraq PM

US still blaming Iran-aligned militias

When Iraqi PM Mustafa Kadhimi survived an assassination attempt earlier this month, it was a foregone conclusion that the US would blame the Shi’ite militias, and by extension Iran.

Interestingly, US officials are also saying that they don’t think Iran ordered the attack themselves, that this was just the militias acting alone. That’s a significant change, as the US rarely gives Iraq’s Shi’ite militias credit for autonomy.

There was never a formal claim of credit for the attack, which might be because it failed, leaving Kadhimi unharmed. On the question of motive, it’s not clear what the militias would’ve gained on it.

Fatah, the militias’ political party, was unhappy with the recent election results, but the failed attack only added to Kadhimi’s support for the vote. It also fueled calls from Moqtada al-Sadr for the military to get involved, securing the vote as it was, and almost certainly cracking down on the militias in the process.

That it hurt their cause isn’t proof that the militias didn’t do it, but with Iran openly calling for stability and support for the political process, they clearly wouldn’t be happy if one of their allies tried to bump off the premier.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of