Complicated situation in Iraq; triad of cabinet, Corona, US

While about 200 countries around the world are coping with the Coronavirus, Iraq faces a triad of cabinet, Corona, and the US.

Iran PressMiddle East: Iraq now has two prime ministers, none of whom are permanent; Adil Abdul-Mahdi has been the Prime Minister since December 1, 2019, and Adnan al-Zurufi who was forced to form a new cabinet on March 17 by President Barham Salih, but faced strong opposition from Iraqi groups.

Some Iraqi groups have formally criticized Barham Salih for introducing Adnan al-Zurufi, arguing that the president has committed an illegal act and should be held accountable because, according to the constitution, it is the majority faction must nominate a new prime minister.

Yet, the Iraqi political analyst Ayad al-Samawi believes that the president did not take any illegal action, because given the failure of Iraqi groups to nominate a new prime minister, he obtained the right to nominate a new one from the Federal Supreme Court. Basically, the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court are binding on everyone.

Therefore, the solution for opposition groups is that they bring in 165 members of parliament to oppose al-Zurufi so that he cannot get a vote of confidence from parliament. In this regard, it is said that the Sadr, Al-Fatah, Hekmat, and State of Law factions are trying to find a replacement for Al-Zurufi as prime minister.

Al-Zurufi's stance last night was not to resign and is trying to win a vote of confidence which shows that the political challenge of forming a cabinet will not be easily resolved for Iraq and that al-Zurufi's possible introduction of a cabinet in the coming days will necessarily not be the end of the political stalemate Iraq is coping with for the last four months.

Significantly, political divisions intensified as the deadly Coronavirus spread in Iraq. According to statistics, 820 people have been infected with a Corona in Iraq so far, and 54 have died. After Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, Iraq has the highest number of Corona infections among the Arab states in the West Asian region.

Political divergence and group swordplay against each other are among the issues that the United States has exploited them. The US, which has been under increasing pressure from Iraq since January 5, 2020, to withdraw its troops from the country, has resorted to casting division among Iraqis on the one hand, and waging a psychological war against them, on the other; both of the approaches pursuing the US survival in Iraq.

The US is trying to show that the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq is not a national demand. Meanwhile, the US withdraw its troops from al-Habbaniyah base in Anbar province on Saturday, after withdrawing its troops from three bases of al-Qaem in Anbar, al-Qayyarah in Nineveh and K1 in Kirkuk.

The withdrawal does not mean leaving Iraq, but the US military will be transferred to large and well-equipped bases such as Ain al-Assad to be less threatened, which shows the US’ purpose for staying in Iraq.

The fact is that the presence of US troops in Iraq adds to the country's internal challenges, as a large part of Iraqi society insists on the US withdrawal from Iraq and the preservation of Iraqi sovereignty.

These developments show that the situation in Iraq is once again complicated and that the US and its allies in Iraq are the main players in this complexity of developments.


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