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Iraq Shiite Protesters in Green Zone

Gladiator

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"Supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr broke through barricades of the fortified Green Zone for the first time, after MPs failed to convene for a vote.A state of emergency was declared and security forces near the US embassy fired tear gas.
Protesters set up camp outside the parliament after occupying the chamber.
Nearby foreign embassies are watching anxiously but there has been no serious violence so far.


"We still view this as a demonstration," Sabah al-Numan, spokesman for the counterterrorism forces, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. "We aren't taking any part in this as it's not something regarding terrorism."
Mr Sadr wants Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to commit to a plan to replace ministers with non-partisan technocrats. "

Iraqi Shia protesters storm Baghdad parliament - BBC News


"On Friday 26 February 2016, Sadr led a million man demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square to protest corruption in Iraq and the government's failure to deliver on reforms. “Abadi must carry out grassroots reform,” Sadr said in front of the protesters. “Raise your voice and shout so the corrupt get scared of you,” he encouraged the people.[SUP][47][/SUP] On the 18th of March, Sadr's followers began a sit-in outside the Green Zone, a heavily fortified district in Baghdad housing government offices and embassies. He called the Green Zone "a bastion of support for corruption".[SUP][48][/SUP] On March 27, he himself walked into the Green Zone to begin a sit-in, urging followers to stay outside and remain peaceful. The Iraqi Army general in charge of security at the Green Zone kissed Sadr's hand as he allowed him to enter.[SUP][49][/SUP]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqtada_al-Sadr


"In February, the Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr led a rally in Baghdad's Tahrir Square, pressing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to deliver reforms he promised in response to anti-government protests that erupted in August 2015.
Sadr's ability to mobilise a crowd of close to 100,000 demonstrates his ability to reinvent himself, once again, in Iraq's post-2003 political landscape. In Sadr's latest political incarnation, he has embraced the politics of protest to become both an anti-politician and king-maker. His latest rally is symbolic of his political movement's evolution over a decade, a reflection of the vicissitudes of Iraq's politics since 2003."


http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/op...nvention-muqtada-al-sadr-160309061939234.html

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Gaztopian

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Iran sicking its thugs in Iraq? Thanks Obama! and Bush.
 

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If Choas is a goal for middle-east meddling, then a crippled Iraq counts as a success!
 

Abbazorkzog

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Isn't the Green Zone where Saddam's alleged "WMD's" were supposed to be?
 

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"The chaos in Baghdad comes just after a visit by Vice President Biden that was intended to help calm the political unrest and keep the battle against the Islamic State on track.
As Biden’s plane was approaching Baghdad on Thursday, a senior administration official described the vice president’s visit — which was shrouded in secrecy prior to his arrival — as a “symbol of how much faith we have in Prime Minister Abadi.”
After 10 hours on the ground in Baghdad and Irbil, Biden was hurtling toward his next stop in Rome. The feeling among the vice president and his advisers was that Iraqi politics were on a trajectory to greater calm and that the battle against the Islamic State would continue to accelerate. Some hopeful advisers on Biden’s plane even suggested that Abadi might emerge from the political crisis stronger for having survived it.
No one is talking that way now. “There’s a realization that the government, as it’s currently structured, can’t hold,” said Doug Ollivant, a former military planner in Baghdad and senior fellow at the New America Foundation


Read more: Blog: Iraqi Shias storm parliament to protest corruption
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"collapse of the Iraqi government would be catastrophic. It is possible that Iran would step in to maintain order and, coincidentally, place a Shia in charge who would be compliant with Iran's wishes. If Iraq wasn't a satellite of Iran, it most definitely would be under those circumstances.

What passes for mainstream Iraqi politics cannot deal with this crisis. They have no real base of support and have relied on American aid to maintain their position. It is probable that this won't work anymore. The next few days will be critical in determining Iraq's fate.


Read more: Blog: Iraqi Shias storm parliament to protest corruption
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Blog: Iraqi Shias storm parliament to protest corruption
 

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Iran sicking its thugs in Iraq? Thanks Obama! and Bush.


"more than 100,000 Iraqi Shia fighters who have risen to prominence battling the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), which began its march through the country in June 2014. Among the militias and brigades, the most prominent are a number of pre-existing Iranian-backed groups, including Asaib al-Haq, the Badr Brigade, and Ketaib Hezbollah, which work together under an umbrella militia force known as Hash’d al-Sha’bi (Popular Mobilization Force or PMF). These groups’ popularity came from their success in rolling back ISIS in places like Tikrit, Diyala, Baiji, and Anbar, as well as preventing the jihadis from expanding further in the country. After the collapse of the Iraqi army in 2014, these groups filled the security vacuum and are now seen by many Iraqi Shias as integral to their survival.

Although the PMF is officially under the control of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi, and there are large numbers of fighters that operate within the state’s military command and control structures, the strongest and most powerful force on the ground remain those militias that are Iranian-backed and controlled. They constitute the core of the PMF and are battle-hardened fighters who have years of fighting experience. They fought both U.S. and U.K. forces after the 2003 Iraq War and have further honed their skills combatting ISIS and other Sunni militant groups. For more than a decade now,




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https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/iran/2016-02-11/irans-weak-grip



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Isn't the Green Zone where Saddam's alleged "WMD's" were supposed to be?

"Shia Muslim activists who occupied Iraq's parliament on Saturday have begun to leave Baghdad's government district.

Organisers used loudspeakers to call an end to the sit-in in the Green Zone.

Earlier, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered the arrest of those who had stormed parliament.

The demonstrators, mostly supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr, were angered by delays in approving a new cabinet.

The protesters accuse the government of neglecting much-needed reforms, as it struggles with its campaign against the so-called Islamic State group and declining oil revenues."

Iraq protests: Demonstrators begin to leave Green Zone - BBC News




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JANFU

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Iran sicking its thugs in Iraq? Thanks Obama! and Bush.
Your information is out of date
Sadr broke with Iran quite some time ago.
He is now reinventing himself to replace Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani.
 

Gladiator

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Your information is out of date
Sadr broke with Iran quite some time ago.
He is now reinventing himself to replace Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani.


Offices - The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani


"alleged plot to assassinate Sistani was foiled on January 29, 2007, when three Jund al-Samaa gunmen were captured at a hotel near his office. It is believed to have been part of a larger attack against a number of targets in Najaf.[13]

In an online open poll, 2005, Ali al-Sistani was selected as the 30th topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (US).[14]

On June 13, 2014 Sistani appealed that Iraqis should join the armed forces to fight terrorism exemplified by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group which had taken over Mosul and Tikrit and was threatening Baghdad.[15]

Fatwa for jihad against ISIS[edit]

In June 2014 Sistani issued a fatwa calling for "Citizens to defend the country, its people, the honor of its citizens, and its sacred places," against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.[16]

Shia patronage[edit]

As the leading Ayatollah in Najaf, Sistani oversees sums amounting to millions of US dollars. Sistani's followers offer him a fixed part of their earnings (tithe), which is used for educational and charitable purposes. Sistani's office has reported that it supports 35,000 students in Qom, 10,000 in Mashhad, and 4,000 in Isfahan.[17] It also oversees a network of representatives (wakil) "who promote his (Sistani's) views in large and small ways in neighborhoods, mosques, bazaars, and seminaries from Kirkuk to Basra."[18]

Additionally, Sistani has a substantial following within Shia communities all over the world and is the current Nayb-i Imam (Preeminent Marja) of the Twelver sect of Shia Muslims. In Iran, as a result of the post-invasion opening of the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala to Iranians, many Iranians are said to return from pilgrimage in Iraq as supporters of Sistani.[19]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_al-Sistani


"Aside from the battle against IS, Mr Sistani has shied away from joining Iran’s other regional adventures, says an aide. The ayatollah has declined the demands of Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shia militia that is Lebanon’s most powerful force, for a religious decree endorsing their multiple struggles. He opposes Shia intervention on behalf of the Houthi militia that took up arms against Yemen’s government. And he has doggedly refused to endorse the idea that his supporters should fight Sunni rebels in Syria as well as in Iraq, joining Iran and its friends in buttressing the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Shias who die fighting in Syria “are not martyrs”, a cleric says he heard him saying.

For now, most Iraqis continue to offer Mr Sistani their allegiance. “The marja still holds the keys of Najaf,” says the cleric, using the honorific (which means “source of emulation”) many Shia use for their religious authority. But since he has no apparent successor, real questions surround the future of Najaf’s seminaries when Mr Sistani dies. Two of the strongest contenders both live in Iran, including Mr Maliki’s preference, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. Though born in Najaf, he is a senior figure in Iran’s theocracy and a staunch supporter of Mr Khamenei. He headed Iran’s judiciary for a decade, and serves on Iran’s powerful Council of Guardians, which vets new laws and parliamentary candidates. A Najaf cleric voiced scepticism about the prospects of a Shahroudi succession: “Najaf is too small for him. He wants to succeed the supreme leader.”

The ailing ayatollah | The Economist

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=al+sistani+iraq
 

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Offices - The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani


"alleged plot to assassinate Sistani was foiled on January 29, 2007, when three Jund al-Samaa gunmen were captured at a hotel near his office. It is believed to have been part of a larger attack against a number of targets in Najaf.[13]

In an online open poll, 2005, Ali al-Sistani was selected as the 30th topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (US).[14]

On June 13, 2014 Sistani appealed that Iraqis should join the armed forces to fight terrorism exemplified by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group which had taken over Mosul and Tikrit and was threatening Baghdad.[15]

Fatwa for jihad against ISIS[edit]

In June 2014 Sistani issued a fatwa calling for "Citizens to defend the country, its people, the honor of its citizens, and its sacred places," against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.[16]

Shia patronage[edit]

As the leading Ayatollah in Najaf, Sistani oversees sums amounting to millions of US dollars. Sistani's followers offer him a fixed part of their earnings (tithe), which is used for educational and charitable purposes. Sistani's office has reported that it supports 35,000 students in Qom, 10,000 in Mashhad, and 4,000 in Isfahan.[17] It also oversees a network of representatives (wakil) "who promote his (Sistani's) views in large and small ways in neighborhoods, mosques, bazaars, and seminaries from Kirkuk to Basra."[18]

Additionally, Sistani has a substantial following within Shia communities all over the world and is the current Nayb-i Imam (Preeminent Marja) of the Twelver sect of Shia Muslims. In Iran, as a result of the post-invasion opening of the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala to Iranians, many Iranians are said to return from pilgrimage in Iraq as supporters of Sistani.[19]"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_al-Sistani


"Aside from the battle against IS, Mr Sistani has shied away from joining Iran’s other regional adventures, says an aide. The ayatollah has declined the demands of Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shia militia that is Lebanon’s most powerful force, for a religious decree endorsing their multiple struggles. He opposes Shia intervention on behalf of the Houthi militia that took up arms against Yemen’s government. And he has doggedly refused to endorse the idea that his supporters should fight Sunni rebels in Syria as well as in Iraq, joining Iran and its friends in buttressing the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Shias who die fighting in Syria “are not martyrs”, a cleric says he heard him saying.

For now, most Iraqis continue to offer Mr Sistani their allegiance. “The marja still holds the keys of Najaf,” says the cleric, using the honorific (which means “source of emulation”) many Shia use for their religious authority. But since he has no apparent successor, real questions surround the future of Najaf’s seminaries when Mr Sistani dies. Two of the strongest contenders both live in Iran, including Mr Maliki’s preference, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi. Though born in Najaf, he is a senior figure in Iran’s theocracy and a staunch supporter of Mr Khamenei. He headed Iran’s judiciary for a decade, and serves on Iran’s powerful Council of Guardians, which vets new laws and parliamentary candidates. A Najaf cleric voiced scepticism about the prospects of a Shahroudi succession: “Najaf is too small for him. He wants to succeed the supreme leader.”

The ailing ayatollah | The Economist

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=al+sistani+iraq

Does not detract from the fact Sadr broke with \Iran. How old are the so called replacements for Sistani? And 2 contenders are and have still reside in Iran.
 

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"Up to 5,000 demonstrators who set up camp in the heart of Baghdad’s fortified green zone began to leave after protest leaders delivered an ultimatum that called for an overhaul of Iraq’s crippled government, and vowed to return if reforms failed.
The withdrawal on Sunday was ordered by senior leaders of the Sadrist movement, whose members had walked past soldiers into the most secure part of the Iraqi capital over the weekend, in the most dramatic challenge to state authority in post-Saddam Iraq.

As they trickled from the heart of Iraqi power, the Sadrist leaders, who are loyal to the powerful Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, demanded an urgent parliamentary session to form a new cabinet. Failing that, they insisted on the sacking of the prime minister, Haider al-Abadi; the president, Fuad Masum; and the speaker, Salim al-Jabouri, as well as new elections."

Protesters in Iraq's green zone begin to withdraw | World news | The Guardian


https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=green+zone+demonstrators,+iraq
 

Gladiator

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Does not detract from the fact Sadr broke with \Iran. How old are the so called replacements for Sistani? And 2 contenders are and have still reside in Iran.

I don't see Iran as controlling Iraq. There is cooperation from Iran with Shiite Militias in fighting ISIS. al Sadr has always insisted on independence for Iraq. I see Iran as ready to help al Sadr, should he ask. Iran is motivated to help Shiites in Iraq for an investment in future influence, and an agrandisement of the appearance of power today.

al Sadr has connections to call upon help from Iran, should he need help. al Sadr would prefer to avoid asking Iran for help, and work independent of Iran. I agree there is not a controlling connection, a this time. But I would not call al Sadr's connection with Iran "Broken"

"Iran has roughly triple the land mass and population of Iraq, a long sea coast, and highly diversified and sophisticated (if lagging) economy; all these factors inevitably exert permanent Iranian influence over Iraq as well.

But let’s not oversimplify. The Shi’a in Iraq now feel existentially threatened by Sunni power (foreign or domestic like ISIS); they of course look to Iran to protect them. But as the Shi’a’s new position in society and governance stabilizes—as it inevitably will with time—then Iraqi Shi’a will not look so heavily to Tehran. Few Iraqi Shi’a want to be under the control of “big brother” Iran if they do not have to.

Furthermore, it would be absurd to think that all Iraqi Shi’a think alike. Some are religious, some are not. Some are more secular-minded and look to Tehran only when they are existentially threatened. Iraqi Shi’a furthermore point out cultural differences between Iraqi and Iranian Shi’ism: Iranian Shi’ism is more “martyr-oriented” in focusing on the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandsons Hasan and Hussain; Iraqi Shi’a are more inclined to focus upon the figure of ‘Ali, the Prophet’s son-in-law, as a figure of nobility and love. There are temperamental differences between Iraqi and Iranian Shi’a: Arab culture and language versus Iranian culture and language."




http://grahamefuller.com/does-iran-control-iraq/

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