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Warnings of US interference in the selection of the new prime minister

09:59 - 01/11/2019
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Information / special ..

Political analyst Mohammed Sadiq al-Hashemi warned on Friday against US interference in the selection of the new government of Iraq that will follow the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi , ruling out the US redeployment in Baghdad after public awareness and the presence of security services.

Hashemi said in a statement to the information, that "America, which entered Iraq in 2003, which came under the pretext of spreading freedom and democracy in the country and rid it of dictatorship, intervene today with all small and large in regard to executive positions and even security."

He added that "the US ambassador often interferes in the selection of conservatives and security leaders, in addition to his intervention in the selection of politicians of the country, and the new government that will come to Iraq to succeed Abdul Mahdi, it will be present in the selection."

He pointed out that "the US administration was not ashamed when it violated the laws of the United Nations to occupy Iraq ," pointing out that "the situation in Iraq left the stage of intervention by America and its agents to fight on its behalf."

He explained that "America can not today govern Iraq or change its political bases, especially since the political situation is different and has security forces and a popular and tribal crowd and promising masses." Finished 25 N

https://www.almaalomah.com/2019/11/01/435751/

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The rebels in the squares and squares seek freedom with a new Iraqi million

 Friday 01 November 2019
 
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Baghdad - Writings

There is no sleep in Iraq tonight and every night as long as the rebels in the squares and streets step up their peaceful movement at dawn on Friday, November 1, 2019.

This was revealed by videos circulating to the demonstrators who drove in support of the demonstrators in "Mansour" during the night marches to celebrate the unification of Iraqis on a single word under the banner of Iraq in order to overthrow the regime and overthrow the symbols of corruption and accountability.

https://kitabat.com/news/الثوار-في-الساحات-والميادين-ينشدون-ال/

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Ameri is holding dialogues with the leaders of the blocs to discuss the replacement of Abdul Mahdi

Political | 01:32 - 01/11/2019

 
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BAGHDAD - Mawazine News
, MP for the conquest of the Alliance, Amer Fayez, on Friday, that the leader of the coalition Hadi al-Amiri, is holding dialogues with leaders of political blocs to discuss the replacement of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
Al-Fayez said, in a statement reported by the new Arab newspaper, and seen by (Mawazine News), that "dialogues conducted by the head of the coalition, Hadi al-Ameri, with a number of leaders of the blocs to discuss the file to replace Abdul-Mahdi and the crisis will result in the absence of resignation."
He added, "The majority of political blocs are not sticking to it, but the talk now is about the alternative character and how can be chosen and agreed," stressing that "of course there is no Shiite objection to the replacement of Abdul-Mahdi."

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Iraqi President Barham Saleh pledged to hold early elections once a new election law is now being worked on in the presidency, as revealed in a speech, yesterday (Thursday), the intention «Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign to the political blocs provided that an alternative, With the commitment to the constitutional and legal contexts and to prevent a constitutional vacuum ».
Saleh said that «the need for urgent reforms in Iraq», noting that «the need is now urgent for a comprehensive national dialogue is being prepared», as Saleh pointed out that the presidency is working on the legislation of a new election law, and early elections once the election law is passed new.
He said: «I will agree to hold early elections and the adoption of a new election law, and we will replace the current election commission, a new one». "The status quo is unsustainable," he said, demanding tens of thousands of people in Baghdad calling for an end to the current system of sectarian power-sharing. Saleh pointed out that «the demands of the people put us to the test», calling for the need for parliament to meet the demands of legitimate demonstrators and disadvantaged sectors.
The Iraqi president said: «The government is required to be a government of the people, and must be held accountable criminals involved in violence. The state must monopolize weapons to prevent any fighting between armed groups. ” He said that the youth is the hope of Iraq «I am biased to you with my feelings, and with you in your demonstrations and legitimate demands».
"We expect next week to introduce a new electoral law that will allow fairer elections, protect voters, prevent fraud and set up a new commission that is far from dominating. We are working on reform measures that serve the best interest of Iraq."
Saleh said that «the solution to the crisis of demonstrations is not security», calling for the start of referring the files of major corruption to the judiciary.
Saleh's speech comes at a time when the Iraqi parliament failed to hold a session, on Thursday, because of the absence of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, despite the direct invitation to him by the Presidency of Parliament.
The speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Mohammed al-Halbousi said that «parliament will not hold a meeting unless the prime minister is present», stressing at the same time that «parliament will initiate constitutional procedures», without specifying the nature of these mechanisms, which may include the dismissal of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.
To that, an Iraqi politician who asked not to be named in a statement to «Middle East» that «President's speech reflects the existence of a severe political crisis within the political class, especially as it came after crucial meetings between the leaders and leaders of political blocs throughout the past two days in the Peace Palace ». He added that «Saleh proceeded from the constants dictated by the Constitution, which includes the road map on the law of elections and early elections and national dialogue, while the issue of dismissal of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi or not is within the parliament, especially between the two major blocs (Sairon) supported by the Shiite leader , Muqtada al-Sadr, and (conquest), led by Hadi al-Amiri ».
He pointed out that «it is clear that there is no consensus between Sadr and Amiri to dismiss Abdul Mahdi, who asked them to agree to identify the alternative in order to submit his resignation».
He predicted the independent politician «increase the momentum of the demonstrations, although there is a final bet on what can be issued during the Friday sermon from Karbala».
In this context, the victory coalition led by former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the importance of forming an interim government until early elections. The leader of the victory coalition, MP Adnan al-Zarfi, in a press conference, held in the parliament in the presence of coalition deputies: «Our country is currently in a real crisis, and must be rescued as soon as possible and follow the demands of the demonstrators and respond to them and hold the killers accountable; Country because the survival of the current government dismantles the state, and drops more prestige ».
He said Zarfi: «We are continuing to question Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi towards the withdrawal of confidence from his government, we have made a request three weeks ago, but the House of Representatives has not yet responded». He continued: «We are with the formation of an interim government to run the affairs of the country, until the elections, and the formation of an independent election commission, and the participation of public opinion to change the electoral system». He called Zarfi to «leave revenge and hatred and settle accounts aside to preserve our people and achieve the demands».
The meeting of the Iraqi parliament, yesterday (Thursday), witnessed an escalation of chants calling for the arrival of Abdul-Mahdi to the meeting, while the speaker of the parliament, Mohammed Halbousi, adjourned until the presence of Abdul-Mahdi to host. Al-Halbousi said in a statement that «the constitutional texts say that the meeting of the House of Representatives will be held if the presence of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and if he did not attend the hosting, will proceed with the necessary constitutional procedures».
The Iraqi parliament has agreed to transfer its sessions live on the air, and through major screens in Tahrir Square where the demonstrations, a condition set by Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, to attend the meeting, although Abdul-Mahdi did not attend, and erupted during the sharp political differences between the various political blocs , Especially the Shiite blocs, about dismissing the prime minister.

Middle east

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Five demonstrators were killed in Baghdad with tear gas "penetrating their skulls," Amnesty International said yesterday, calling on Iraq to stop using this "unprecedented" type of bomb, which is 10 times the weight of commonly used tear gas canisters.

At least five demonstrators were killed by bombs that "penetrated the skulls" fired by security forces, according to the organization, especially in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad.

The bombs, made in Bulgaria and Serbia, are "unprecedented" and "aimed at killing, not dispersing" demonstrators, the organization said.

Videos filmed by activists show young men lying on the ground with bombs piercing their skulls, at a time when their nose, eyes and heads were smoldering.

Medical X-rays, which Amnesty said has confirmed, also show bombs that completely penetrated the skulls of protesters.

Tear gas canisters, usually used by police around the world, weigh between 25 and 50 grams, according to Amnesty, but those used in Baghdad "weigh from 220 to 250 grams" and are 10 times more powerful when released.

A doctor in Baghdad told Agence France-Presse that he saw "for the first time" injuries caused by this type of bomb.

The doctor added that upon arrival at the hospital, "we know that the injured were hit by bombs smell .. If they are still alive, we are looking for the wound to remove the bomb." "It is clear that the effects are direct and are not caused by the rebound of bombs fired on the ground."

Amnesty International quoted another doctor at a hospital near Tahrir Square as saying he was receiving "six to seven people a day with head injuries" from the bombs.

It is noteworthy that the popular movement in Iraq began on October 1 to protest the lack of basic services and the spread of unemployment and the inability of political authorities to find solutions to living crises. According to official statistics, 250 protesters were killed.

Source: French

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52 minutes ago, Butifldrm said:

Warnings of US interference in the selection of the new prime minister

09:59 - 01/11/2019
0
 
  
 

 

 

But Iranian influence is "A OK" according to them. 🙄🤦🏿‍♂️

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14 minutes ago, yota691 said:

«it is clear that there is no consensus between Sadr and Amiri to dismiss Abdul Mahdi, who asked them to agree to identify the alternative in order to submit his resignation».

 

Edited by DWS112
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01-11-2019 04:09 PM
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Baghdad / News

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in central Baghdad on Friday to demand the eradication of the political elite in an event that observers expect will become the biggest day of popular anti-government demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

In recent days, protests, which killed 250 people, have accelerated over the past month, attracting crowds of different sects and ethnicities to reject the political parties that have been in power in Iraq since 2003.

Thousands have set up tents in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad, joined by thousands more during the day, while it is expected to attract the largest crowd of demonstrators so far, with many going to the streets after Friday prayers.

Police and hospital sources said that more than 50 people were injured during the night and this morning, and by noon hundreds of people were marching to the square from the side streets, condemning the elites that they see corrupt order the foreign forces and hold them responsible for the deterioration of living conditions.

In recent days, protests have been relatively peaceful during the day, with older people and young families joining them, but taking on a more violent nature after dark as police use tear gas and live ammunition to counter youths on the streets.

Amnesty International said on Thursday that security forces were using tear gas canisters "never known" from a military model 10 times stronger than ordinary bombs.

In Baghdad, demonstrators set up checkpoints in the streets leading to Tahrir Square and its environs to redirect traffic.

The new arrivals joined those who camped last night and helped them, as a group of young people moved in the streets to "make things comfortable" for other protesters.

Mohammed Najm, who graduated from the Faculty of Engineering but is unemployed, said the scene has become a model for the country he and his colleagues hope to build, adding: "We clean the streets, and others bring us water and provide us with electricity."

He added: "(arena) is a small country, free health services and free transport through the Tuktuk .. This country has been around for 16 years and what it failed to do in seven days in liberation, if they can not do so they have to leave."

Many sing about the sit-in as helmets and gas masks become a common sight. A group of middle-aged women made falafel sandwiches.

"We bring food to the protesters. They are our children and brothers. We are here every day until the regime is toppled," said Um Idris, a mother of three university graduates who all failed to find jobs.

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 2019/11/01 08:56:22
 

Iranian interests in the region face risks that have worried the Iranian leadership. According to the New York Times, Iranian concerns are centered in Lebanon and Iraq, which are witnessing a mass movement against corruption and government deficits.

The report's author, Farnaz Fasaihi, says the Iranian establishment often expresses its discontent with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel as the greatest threat, but Iranian leaders have turned their attention to two new concerns, Lebanon and Iraq. Massive demonstrations in these two countries were characterized by some form of hostility to the Islamic Republic, endangering their interests and increasing the likelihood of similar demonstrations in Iran itself.

Iran's concern was evident from a visit to Iraq by the Quds Force's Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, to help counter the new uprising.

The success of the protesters by changing the government of the two countries and toppling the political systems linked to Iran, Tehran will be the loser for decades of political, financial and military investment that made it the dominant forces in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is respected by some in Iraq and Lebanon, denounced the demonstrators, revealing his fears of the dangers posed by the demonstrations. Iran also announced the closure of a number of border crossings with Iraq for passengers and goods. Khamenei accused the United States and Western intelligence agencies and the money provided by some regional states to create chaos in the region.

"I advise Lebanon and Iraq to have the priority to stand up to these security threats," he said.

Iranian media have portrayed events in both countries in a negative way. Commentators in the official and conservative press have described events in the two countries as "fitna," the same term used to describe anti-government demonstrations in 2009 and 2017. Some commentators have suggested that US, Israeli and Saudi agitators have stirred up the turmoil to weaken Iran and create divisions within the region's two allies.

However, Iranian officials are aware of the infectious power of the demonstrations in the Iranian neighborhood and the possibility of their movement inside, especially as there is a participation in the grievances between Iraqis, Lebanese and Iranians against the ruling institutions in their country. The recent wave of protests in Iran has been rooted, like the current demonstrations in the Arab world, with the economy, unemployment and frustration with government corruption.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shown a tendency to resign if a mechanism is in place to keep the government stable. Two days earlier, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. There are no signs of a decline in demonstrations in the coming days.

"The Iranian leadership views the protests as an existential threat," says Joseph Bahod, a Middle East expert at the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace. "But they have a lot of cards to play before resorting to violence to crush them."

Khamenei said he had ordered Iranian forces to be on alert, perhaps suggesting that he wanted proxies from Tehran in Iraq and Lebanon to confront the demonstrators.

Analysts say Iran may use a number of tactics. In Lebanon, it will divide the demonstrators and remove the two Shiite movements, Hezbollah and Amal, from protests demanding a change in the entire political structure of the country. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called on his supporters to stay away from the demonstrations, but like Khamenei, he accused foreign parties of being behind them.

Hezbollah will rely on provocation. On Thursday, people in civilian clothes described as Hezbollah supporters attacked the tents of the protesters and tried to disperse them by force, as the number of demonstrators has since fallen. With Hariri's resignation, there is an opportunity for a political vacuum if a successor government is not formed.

Iraq is a more complicated case for Iran than Lebanon. Hence the importance of Soleimani's visit to Baghdad a while ago to help the government confront the uprising. Soleimani is known for his frequent visits to Iraq and his strong ties with militia and party leaders.

Shiite cities where militias have bases, such as Karbala, have seen bloody clashes. Unlike Lebanon, criticism of Iran was apparent in Iraq, the Iranian flag was burned at the demonstrations, while demonstrators distorted pictures of Ayatollah Khamenei and attacked the headquarters of militias backed by the Revolutionary Guards.

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr joined demonstrators in Najaf, where the Iraqi flag was covered and demanded the resignation of the government. Iranian officials and hardline commentators have openly criticized the demonstrators as puppets in the hands of the West, attacking Sadr as "volatile, uncontrolled and parasitic."

Hussein Shariat Madari, editor of the conservative Kayhan newspaper and a senior adviser to Khamenei, wrote, calling on demonstrators to march toward the Saudi and US embassies. While commentator Hamid Reza Zandi to burn the US and Saudi flags in response to the uprising.

Analysts say Iran is known to support selective uprisings in the Arab world if it supports its ideology. During the Arab Spring, Iran supported demonstrators against the governments of Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, but stood with Syria and played a role in protecting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

"Khamenei, who has invested in the region financially and militarily, will not allow demonstrators to weaken Iranian hegemony at all costs," said Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver.

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Good maybe a sniper will take his sorry out.  :wave:

4 minutes ago, yota691 said:
 
 
 2019/11/01 08:56:22
 

Iranian interests in the region face risks that have worried the Iranian leadership. According to the New York Times, Iranian concerns are centered in Lebanon and Iraq, which are witnessing a mass movement against corruption and government deficits.

The report's author, Farnaz Fasaihi, says the Iranian establishment often expresses its discontent with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel as the greatest threat, but Iranian leaders have turned their attention to two new concerns, Lebanon and Iraq. Massive demonstrations in these two countries were characterized by some form of hostility to the Islamic Republic, endangering their interests and increasing the likelihood of similar demonstrations in Iran itself.

Iran's concern was evident from a visit to Iraq by the Quds Force's Quds Force commander, Qasem Soleimani, to help counter the new uprising.

The success of the protesters by changing the government of the two countries and toppling the political systems linked to Iran, Tehran will be the loser for decades of political, financial and military investment that made it the dominant forces in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is respected by some in Iraq and Lebanon, denounced the demonstrators, revealing his fears of the dangers posed by the demonstrations. Iran also announced the closure of a number of border crossings with Iraq for passengers and goods. Khamenei accused the United States and Western intelligence agencies and the money provided by some regional states to create chaos in the region.

"I advise Lebanon and Iraq to have the priority to stand up to these security threats," he said.

Iranian media have portrayed events in both countries in a negative way. Commentators in the official and conservative press have described events in the two countries as "fitna," the same term used to describe anti-government demonstrations in 2009 and 2017. Some commentators have suggested that US, Israeli and Saudi agitators have stirred up the turmoil to weaken Iran and create divisions within the region's two allies.

However, Iranian officials are aware of the infectious power of the demonstrations in the Iranian neighborhood and the possibility of their movement inside, especially as there is a participation in the grievances between Iraqis, Lebanese and Iranians against the ruling institutions in their country. The recent wave of protests in Iran has been rooted, like the current demonstrations in the Arab world, with the economy, unemployment and frustration with government corruption.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shown a tendency to resign if a mechanism is in place to keep the government stable. Two days earlier, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation. There are no signs of a decline in demonstrations in the coming days.

"The Iranian leadership views the protests as an existential threat," says Joseph Bahod, a Middle East expert at the Carnegie Endowment for World Peace. "But they have a lot of cards to play before resorting to violence to crush them."

Khamenei said he had ordered Iranian forces to be on alert, perhaps suggesting that he wanted proxies from Tehran in Iraq and Lebanon to confront the demonstrators.

Analysts say Iran may use a number of tactics. In Lebanon, it will divide the demonstrators and remove the two Shiite movements, Hezbollah and Amal, from protests demanding a change in the entire political structure of the country. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has called on his supporters to stay away from the demonstrations, but like Khamenei, he accused foreign parties of being behind them.

Hezbollah will rely on provocation. On Thursday, people in civilian clothes described as Hezbollah supporters attacked the tents of the protesters and tried to disperse them by force, as the number of demonstrators has since fallen. With Hariri's resignation, there is an opportunity for a political vacuum if a successor government is not formed.

Iraq is a more complicated case for Iran than Lebanon. Hence the importance of Soleimani's visit to Baghdad a while ago to help the government confront the uprising. Soleimani is known for his frequent visits to Iraq and his strong ties with militia and party leaders.

Shiite cities where militias have bases, such as Karbala, have seen bloody clashes. Unlike Lebanon, criticism of Iran was apparent in Iraq, the Iranian flag was burned at the demonstrations, while demonstrators distorted pictures of Ayatollah Khamenei and attacked the headquarters of militias backed by the Revolutionary Guards.

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr joined demonstrators in Najaf, where the Iraqi flag was covered and demanded the resignation of the government. Iranian officials and hardline commentators have openly criticized the demonstrators as puppets in the hands of the West, attacking Sadr as "volatile, uncontrolled and parasitic."

Hussein Shariat Madari, editor of the conservative Kayhan newspaper and a senior adviser to Khamenei, wrote, calling on demonstrators to march toward the Saudi and US embassies. While commentator Hamid Reza Zandi to burn the US and Saudi flags in response to the uprising.

Analysts say Iran is known to support system" rel="">support selective uprisings in the Arab world if it supports its ideology. During the Arab Spring, Iran supported demonstrators against the governments of Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain, but stood with Syria and played a role in protecting the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

"Khamenei, who has invested in the region financially and militarily, will not allow demonstrators to weaken Iranian hegemony at all costs," said Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver.

 

 

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Iraq's prime minister agrees to resign, president says, after weeks of protests

By Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN 

 

Updated 7:07 AM ET, Fri November 1, 2019

 

(CNN)Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi has agreed to resign after weeks of anti-government protests that led to hundreds of casualties, Iraq's president announced Thursday.

In a televised speech to the nation on Iraq's Al-Iraqiya TV, President Barham Salih said Abdul Mahdi had agreed to step down on the condition that a successor is agreed to replace him.
"The prime minister has agreed to resign," Salih said, adding that Abdul Mahdi had asked "political blocs to reach an acceptable alternative" in order "to prevent a vacuum."
 
One of Iraq's leading Shiite clerics and most powerful politicians, Muqtada al-Sadr, had called on other parties Tuesday to back his push for a no-confidence vote in Abdul Mahdi.
 
The protests, which have gripped parts of Iraq for the past month, were sparked by longstanding complaints over unemployment, government corruption, and a lack of basic services -- such as electricity and clean water. 
Many Iraqis blame the current political parties in power for their economic hardship and the scale of the protests, believed to be the biggest since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, took the government by surprise. 
Officials have attempted to regain control with the use of lethal force, while also imposing curfews and internet blackouts. The government said it only shoots when attacked, but those who have taken part in the demonstrations have disputed that. 
More than 200 protestors have been killed, and thousands injured, since the protests began earlier this month.
Another wave of protests broke out in the capital Baghdad on Wednesday, made up of protesters from across the country's ethnic and sectarian divides, Reuters reported. 
The demonstrations turned violent at nightfall, and protestors attempted to storm a bridge leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, Reuters reported. 
The Green Zone includes the US embassy along with other foreign embassies, the Iraqi parliament building and other government buildings.
That day, a rocket landed 100 meters from the US embassy, killing an Iraqi soldier and wounding another, a senior Iraqi military officer told CNN.
Iraqi security forces are investigating the incident and trying to determine the launching point of the rocket. 
On Thursday, the United Nations appealed for a national dialogue to ease the widespread anger. 
"Democracy has given Iraqis the right to have their voices heard and to hold their leaders to account," Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, said in a statement. 
"Today Iraq stands at a crossroads. Progress through dialogue, or divisive inaction. Violence only breeds more violence. A public national dialogue can bring Iraqis together to draw a roadmap towards a more inclusive, stable and prosperous Iraq."
 

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IRAQIS POUR INTO STREETS FOR BIGGEST PROTEST DAY SINCE SADDAM

Sistani warns against crackdown
FILE PHOTO: Iraqi demonstrators chant slogans during an anti-government protest at Tarbia square in Karbala, Iraq October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa al-Deen/File Photo

2 Hours ago 

http://www.nrttv.com/En/News.aspx?id=16407&MapID=3

SULAIMANI — Thousands of Iraqis thronged central Baghdad on Friday demanding the root-and-branch downfall of the political elite, in what was expected to become the biggest day of mass anti-government demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Protests in which 250 people have died over the past month have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides to reject the political parties in power since 2003, according to Reuters.

Thousands have been camped out in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, with many thousands more joining them by day. Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, was expected to draw the biggest crowds yet, with many taking to the streets after worship.

More than 50 people were wounded overnight and early Friday morning, police and hospital sources said. By late morning hundreds were marching to the square from side streets, condemning elites they see as deeply corrupt, beholden to foreign powers and responsible for daily privations.

In recent days protests have been comparatively peaceful by day, joined by elderly people and young families, becoming more violent after dark as police use tear gas and live ammunition to battle self-proclaimed “revolutionary” youths in the street.

Amnesty International said on Thursday security forces were using “previously unseen” tear gas canisters modeled on military grenades that are 10 times as heavy as standard ones.

In Baghdad, protesters had set up checkpoints in the streets leading into and surrounding Tahrir Square, redirecting traffic.

New arrivals joined and assisted those who had camped overnight. A group of young people were sweeping the streets in to “make things comfortable” for fellow protesters.

Mohammed Najm, an engineering graduate with no job, said the square had become a model for the country he and his comrades hope to build: “We are cleaning streets, others bring us water, they bring us electricity, they wired it up.

“A mini-state. Health for free, tuk-tuks transporting for free,” he said. “The state has been around for 16 years and what it failed to do we did in seven days in Tahrir. If they can’t do it, leave.”

Many were singing about the sit in. Helmets and gas masks were now a common sight. A group of middle-aged women sat making falafel sandwiches.

“We are making food for the protesters. They are our sons and brothers,” said Umm Idrees, mother to three university graduates who have all failed to find jobs. “We are here until the regime falls, every day.”

ade

‘NOT ENOUGH’

In his weekly sermon, top Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned of “civil conflict, chaos and destruction” if the security forces or paramilitary groups crack down on the protests. And he gave an apparent nod to protesters who say the government is being manipulated from abroad, above all by Iran. 

“No one person or group or side with an agenda, or any regional or international party, can infringe upon the will of Iraqis or force an opinion upon them,” Sistani’s representative said during a sermon in the holy city of Karbala.

Despite OPEC member Iraq’s vast oil wealth, many Iraqis live in poverty or have limited access to clean water, electricity, basic health care and education. The protests are driven by young people who above all want jobs.

The government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, in office for a year, has failed to find a response to the protests. A crackdown that saw police fire into crowds from rooftops has only inflamed the anger of the crowds.

Many see the political class as subservient to one or another of Baghdad’s main allies, the United States and Iran, who use Iraq as a proxy for a struggle for regional influence.

“The leadership is controlled by Iran,” said barber Amir, 26. “When we make demands we shouldn’t even talk to the government, we should talk to Iran. We don’t have a government.”

Reuters reported this week that a powerful Iran-backed faction had considered abandoning Abdul Mahdi, but decided to keep him in office after a secret meeting attended by a general from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. An Iranian security official confirmed General Qassem Soleimani had attended Wednesday’s meeting, saying he was there to “give advice.”

President Barham Salih said on Thursday that Abdul Mahdi was willing to resign if parliament’s main blocs could agree on a replacement.

Protesters say that wouldn’t be enough; they want to undo the entire post-Saddam political system, which distributes power among sectarian parties, giving them little incentive to reform.

“We don’t want to oust just Adel Abdul Mahdi, we want all the corrupt ones. So what if he resigns? What will happen? They will get someone worse,” said Amir. “It is not enough. What about the rest of them? We don’t want the parties.”

There were protests in other provinces, with the unrest having spread across much of the southern Shia heartland.

Some protesters in oil-rich Basra tried to block the road leading to Majnoon oilfield and pitched a tent on Friday in support of the Baghdad protests but oil sources said operations were not interrupted. 

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)

 

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OCTOBER 31, 2019 / 1:48 PM / UPDATED 21 HOURS AGO

Exclusive: Iran intervenes to prevent ousting of Iraqi prime minister - sources

5 MIN READ

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iran has stepped in to prevent the ouster of Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi by two of Iraq’s most influential figures amid weeks of anti-government demonstrations, sources close to both men told Reuters.

 
 
Iraqi demonstrators attend an anti-government protest in Baghdad, Iraq October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demanded this week that Abdul Mahdi call an early election to quell the biggest mass protests in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. The demonstrations are fueled by anger at corruption and widespread economic hardship.

Sadr had urged his main political rival Hadi al-Amiri, whose alliance of Iran-backed militias is the second-biggest political force in parliament, to help push out Abdul Mahdi.

But in a secret meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday, Qassem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, intervened. Soleimani asked Amiri and his militia leaders to keep supporting Abdul Mahdi, according to five sources with knowledge of the meeting.

Spokesmen for Amiri and Sadr could not be reached for comment. An Iranian security official confirmed Soleimani was at Wednesday’s meeting, saying he was there to “give advice”.

“(Iraq’s) security is important for us and we have helped them in the past. The head of our Quds Force travels to Iraq and other regional countries regularly, particularly when our allies ask for our help,” the Iranian official said, asking not to be named.

Soleimani, whose Quds force coordinates Tehran-backed militias in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, is a frequent visitor to Iraq. However, his direct intervention is the latest sign of Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq and across the region.

 

Iraqi security officials told Reuters earlier this month that Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops to try to help put down the protests.

If Iraq falls further into crisis, Iran risks losing the influence it has steadily been amassing in the country since the U.S.-led invasion and which it sees as a counter to American influence in the region.

FATE UNCLEAR

Despite the maneuvering behind closed doors, Abdul Mahdi’s fate remains unclear. He took office a year ago as a compromise candidate between Amiri and Sadr but faces a wave of protests that has swelled in recent days.

In the 16 years since the fall of Saddam, a Sunni Muslim, Shi’ite Iran has emerged as a key power broker in Iraqi politics, with greater influence than the United States in the Shi’ite majority country.

But that proxy power battle has rankled ordinary Iraqis who criticize a political elite they say is subservient to one or the other of Baghdad’s two allies and pays more attention to those alliances than to Iraqis’ basic economic needs.

Despite their country’s vast oil wealth, many Iraqis live in poverty or have limited access to clean water, electricity, basic health care and education. Most of the protesters are young people who above all want jobs.

 

The protests have broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq. They have spread from Baghdad across the mainly Shi’ite south and met with a security crackdown that killed over 250 people.

Until earlier this week, it appeared that Amiri - who is one of Tehran’s key allies in Iraq and the leader of the Badr Organization of militia - was willing to support Abdul Mahdi’s departure.

Late on Tuesday night, Amiri issued a public statement agreeing to “work together” with Sadr after the cleric called on him to help oust the prime minister.

Wednesday’s meeting seemingly changed the course of events.

A Shi’ite militia commander loyal to Amiri - one of the five sources Reuters spoke to about the meeting - said there was agreement that Abdul Mahdi needed to be given time to enact reforms to calm the streets.

Many of the militia leaders raised fears at the meeting that ousting Abdul Mahdi could weaken the Popular Mobilization Forces, according to another source familiar with the meeting.

The PMF is an umbrella of mostly Shi’ite paramilitary groups backed by Iran who are influential in Iraq’s parliament and have allies in government. They formally report to the prime minister but have their own command structure outside the military.

Following the meeting with Soleimani, Amiri changed tune with Sadr. He told Sadr that getting rid of Abdul Mahdi would cause more chaos and threaten stability, a politician close to Sadr said.

 
 
 
Iraqi demonstrators attend an anti-government protest in Baghdad, Iraq October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

In response, Sadr said publicly that without a resignation there would be more bloodshed and that he would not work with Amiri again.

“I will never enter into alliances with you after today,” he said in a statement.

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1 hour ago, yota691 said:

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has shown a tendency to resign if a mechanism is in place to keep the government stable.

He will only resign with a " quid pro quo", ( you need to do this before I do this). 

He is in charge.

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2 minutes ago, DWS112 said:

He will only resign with a " quid pro quo", ( you need to do this before I do this). 

He is in charge.

He will only resign when Iran tells him to resign. 

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Iraq’s top Shiite cleric backs call for constitutional referendum

2 hours ago  |  247 Views

image.png.15f29ac527395f52f17bea4338093aa7.png

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan – Iraq’s highest Shiite religious authority, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, said Friday he supports the demands of Iraqis for a new political system of their choosing, calling for an end to the bloodshed.

“Respecting the will of Iraqis in determining the political and administrative system of their country through a referendum over the constitution and periodic elections for the parliament is the principle that the religious Marja has adhered to and affirmed since the changing of the previous regime,” Sistani, who is also known as the Marja (source), said in a speech read by his representative Ahmed al-Safi.  

Iraqis have been protesting since October 1 demanding jobs, services, and action against corruption. Following the violent crackdown by security forces and militias, they are now demanding an overhaul of the political system, with many calling for a republican model similar to the United States with a strong executive presidency. 

Such a model would see the old parties and their militias who dominate Iraq’s parliamentary system lose their monopoly on power.

No regional or international force, nor any person or group should be allowed to “hijack the will of Iraqis and impose its will on them”, Sistani added.

“We call on all sides to think of Iraq’s present and future and not to let fleeting reactions or private interests prevent them from making the correct decision in this regard that is for the good, prosperity, and development of this country,” Sistani added, calling on security forces to cease using excessive force against protesters.

Iraq adopted its parliamentary system under the 2005 constitution. Prior to this, Iraq had ruled by a strong executive presidency since the 1958 revolution which overthrew the British-installed monarchy. Under Saddam Hussein, the office of the presidency became increasingly dictatorial.

According to the latest figures published by Iraq’s Independent High Commission for Human Rights’ (IHCHR), covering October 25 to October 30, at least 100 people have been killed and around 5,500 wounded. 

This brings the total death toll since October 1 to at least 257 killed and around 10,000 injured. 

One of the deadliest weapons to have been used so far is military-grade teargas, fired directly into the crowd, killing at least five people when the metal canisters became embedded in their skulls. 

Iraqis have been unhappy with Sistani, a man widely revered, because he has largely stood by the Iraqi government and old political parties since the start of the protests.

In his first speech since the outbreak of protests on October 4, Sistani appeared to back the government of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi. Rather than demand his resignation, he called for reform. 

However, with the unrest ongoing, Sistani has slowly taken the side of the protesters. His endorsement of a referendum is the latest significant development.

Iraq’s President Barham Salih announced on Thursday plans to overhaul election laws, the Independent Electoral Commission, among key institutions. 

The president also said Abdul-Mahdi is willing to step down, on the condition that a replacement is prepared so that a constitutional vacuum is not left.

 

Edited by 6ly410

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Iraq's top cleric rejects foreign intervention against demonstrations

 

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/531cb807-6427-40d7-957a-19376328e219

3 hours ago
 
 

Iraq's top cleric rejects foreign intervention against demonstrations
Iraqi demonstrators use a Tuk-tuk during anti-government protests in the capital of Baghdad on Nov. 1, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Khalid al-Mousily)
 
 

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's top Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani on Friday rejected purported efforts by regional or international entities to counter the will and goals of demonstrations that have swept the country.

The statement comes a day after informed political sources told Reuters that notorious Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani had been in Baghdad to prevent the removal of Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi from power amid protests marred by violence.

October's deadly and Iraqi-wide demonstrations—which saw two weeks of pause midway through the month—called for an end to the economic woes of the public and a complete governmental overhaul amid shortages of public services, high rates of unemployment, and chronic institutional corruption.

Sistani said in a sermon read by an aide in Karbala that "respect for the will of Iraqis in determining the political and administrative system of their country through a referendum on the constitution and periodic elections to the House of Representatives is the principle adhered to by the religious authority and stressed since the former regime was changed."

The cleric's aide relayed that "necessary reform must be carried out," stating further that "it is not for any person, group, party or any regional or international party to seize the will of Iraqis in this and impose their opinion on them."

The religious authority, also known as the Marjaa, called on "all parties to reflect on the present and future of Iraq" and prevent "special interests" from affecting decision-making.

On Thursday, Iraqi President Barham Salih announced on Thursday that Abdul-Mahdi had agreed to resign if political parties agreed on a replacement ‘within constitutional measures.’

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More proof that the stooge Mahdi is nothing more than a Iranian puppet....

We reveal the scenes of what happened between Soleimani and Sadr .. And the intervention of Iran to prevent the overthrow of Abdul Mahdi

 

Sources close to two of the most influential figures in Iraq told Reuters that Iran intervened to prevent the overthrow of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi amid demonstrations that erupted in protest against the performance of the government.

Sadr's leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, this week called for Abdul-Mahdi to call early elections to pacify the biggest popular protests in Iraq.
Sadr urged his main political rival, Hadi al-Amiri, who leads the Fatah-alliance, an Iranian- backed alliance that represents the most prominent leader of the Popular Mobilization and has the second largest number of seats in parliament, to help oust Abdul Mahdi.

But at a secret meeting in Baghdad on Wednesday, Qasim Soleimani intervenedThe commander of the Qods Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards asked Amiri and the leaders of the Popular Mobilization to continue to support Abdul Mahdi, according to five sources familiar with the meeting.
Amri and Sadr's spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

An Iranian security official confirmed Soleimani was present at Wednesday's meeting and said he was there to "advise".
The Iranian official, who asked not to be named, said Iraqi security "is important to us and we have helped before. The Quds Force commander travels to Iraq and other countries in the region from time to time, especially when our allies ask us for help."

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1 hour ago, stanleypower said:

He will only resign when Iran tells him to resign. 

 

Exactly .................

Semper Fi:salute:

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