Iraq

  • Alfoneh in The Arab Weekly: Tehran Alarmed by Iraqi Nationalism


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  • Brandenburg Quoted in The Arab Weekly on Sadr's Win in Iraq


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  • Muqtada al-Sadr: From US Foe to Iraqi Kingmaker

    The checkered and turbulent past of the man best poised to take on the role of “kingmaker” in Iraq may return to impact his ability to form a government, and Iraq’s relationship with the United States.

    The ethnically and politically diverse Alliance of Revolutionaries for Reform, led by prominent Iraqi political figure Muqtada al-Sadr, won the greatest number of seats in the May 12 Iraqi parliamentary elections on an anti-corruption, Iraq-first platform. Whether Sadr has the ability and desire to form a government committed to a better future for all Iraqi people, remains uncertain.

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  • Khoury Quoted in AFP on Moqtada al-Sadr


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  • Can Muqtada Al-Sadr And The United States Be Friends?

    Amid the uncertainty that has followed the Iraqi parliamentary elections on May 12 one thing is clear: formerly anti-US Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s list is the top vote-getter.

    Sadr is trailed by Iran-backed Shia militia leader Hadi al-Amiri in second place and current Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in third according to the unofficial results that are subject to change in the upcoming days.

    Sadr, who formed the Mahdi Army in response to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, has since disbanded the group and transformed himself into a leading Shia politician.

    In an interview with the New Atlanticist, Harith Hasan al-Qarawee, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, discussed the opportunities and challenges presented by the elections.

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  • Iraq: The Reinvention of Muqtada al-Sadr

    Muqtada al-Sadr—often dubbed a firebrand cleric—has come a long way from the days in 2003 when he was an outcast and a hunted man, to the victor in the 2018 Iraqi elections. Early results suggesting a surprising lead for Sadr are a personal vindication for him, certainly, but a challenge for Iraq’s political elite which for years was at a loss as to how exactly to deal with him, and a governance challenge for Iraq moving forward after the election to the next phase, the formation of a government.

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  • Iraqi Parliamentary Elections in a Fragmented Political Landscape

    The Iraqi parliamentary elections on May 12 are likely to be critical in their symbolism but far from definitive in their outcomes. Free and fair elections that lead to the peaceful political transition of members of the Council of Representatives—a process consistent with the 2005 Constitution—could help to solidify Iraqi democratic confidence. Nonetheless, how Iraqis vote is unlikely to clarify the political trajectory of the state.

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  • Iraq Votes: Expect Uncertainty

    Iraqis will vote on May 12 in their first election since the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). With nearly 7,000 candidates vying for 329 seats in parliament, no single political alliance is expected to emerge with an outright majority. As a consequence, the days after the vote will be marked by desperate attempts to cobble together a ruling coalition.

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  • Al-Qarawee in War on the Rocks: Sectarianism and the Iraqi Election: Two Potential Scenarios 


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  • A Renewed Opportunity for a US Role in Iraq

    The upcoming Iraqi parliamentary election slated for May 12 is significant for many reasons, most notable are the changes to Iraq’s traditional electoral lists. Although these lists are still largely composed along ethno-sectarian lines—whether Shia, Sunni, or Kurdish—differences over policies figure more prominently, with a shift away from an exclusive focus on identity present in previous elections. This change offers the United States a significant opportunity to play an engaged role in post-election negotiations, and to serve as a counterweight to Iranian influence in the country.

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