Middle East (IP)- On January 5, 2020, the Iraqi parliament approved a plan for the US troops to withdraw from Iraq but they are still present in the country.

Iran Presscommentary: The plan was approved in response to the criminal act of the US terrorist government in the assassination of Lt. General Qasem Soleimani, the late commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the popular mobilization Unit (PMU), and eight companions.

It has been a year since the plan was approved by the Iraqi parliament, but despite the support of the Iraqi people, the withdrawal of US troops is still a point of contention between the Baghdad government and Iraqi political groups.

The Iraqi government held several rounds of talks with the Washington administration on the withdrawal of US troops. Mustafa al-Kazemi's administration did not take a specific stance on the withdrawal of US troops, but US President Donald Trump announced after al-Kazemi's August 2020 visit to Washington that US troops would leave Iraq on a three-year schedule.

This issue was widely protested by Iraqi groups. In practical terms, the withdrawal of 500 US troops from Iraq began in November 2020. The important question is why the resolution of the Iraqi parliament was not implemented more decisively after a year?

The most important factor in this regard seems to be the lack of consensus among Iraqi groups.

Although the Iraqi parliament approved the plan for the US troops to withdraw, most Sunni and Kurdish groups and some Shia coalitions oppose the plan and boycotted January 5, 2020, parliamentary vote. The fact is that some Iraqi political groups consider the US military presence in the country to be in line with their interests and security, and do not agree with the implementation of the parliamentary ratification.

Thus, within the Iraqi parliament, there is no significant gap between the number of Pros and Cons of the withdrawal of US troops. Out of a total of 329 members of the Iraqi parliament, only 168 voted in favor of the bill on January 5th, which means that only three more than half of the total number of members of parliament.

 "I consider the vote to be a weak and inadequate response to the Americans' violation of Iraqi sovereignty and their actions to escalate regional tensions," Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement, told lawmakers after the vote.

Another important factor is the lack of serious will on the part of the Iraqi government to follow the ratification of the Iraqi parliament. Mustafa al-Kazemi won a vote of confidence in parliament as prime minister with the support of groups from all three Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds in Iraq. Some of these Iraqi groups are directly affiliated with the United States and have US support.

Iraq, on the other hand, is an American-occupied country with 14 military bases, four of which it evacuated in 2020 after parliamentary approval. Therefore, it can be said that not only the Baghdad government does not have the necessary independence to expel US troops, but also the Prime Minister himself considers the US support necessary for his continued stay in power.

Another important factor is that Iraq signed a security agreement with the United States in 2008 and 2014. Under the agreement, the United States established military bases in Iraq and incurred significant material costs for those bases. The US government calls for payment for the withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, but the Baghdad government is not in a position to pay the alleged US damages.


Read more:

Path of resistance martyrs continues: Iraqi people


Written By : Seyyed Razi Emadi 

Translated by Leila Mehryar