EPC | 14 Dec 2020
The structural economic crisis in Iraq and its political consequences have continued. This was blatantly manifested in the government's failure to secure employee salaries. According to the statements of Mazhar Mohammed Saleh, the financial adviser to the Iraqi government, "Iraq's revenues currently amount to approximately 4 trillion Iraqi dinars per month, while we need 7 trillion to cover expenses and salaries". The matter was politically reflected in the worsening of relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi Parliament, which were already tense due to a dispute over oil export revenues.
EPC | 06 Dec 2020
The role of the [Iranian-backed] loyalist factions in Iraq constitutes a complex problem for Iraqi-US relations as a result of the growing role of those factions, which are among the most effective security and military tools for the Iranian expansionist project in the Arab region. Those loyalist factions had announced a truce to stop firing rockets at the US embassy in Baghdad, as a result of the pressure exerted and the US threats that the US would conduct intensive bombing operations against 80 sites belonging to the Popular Mobilisation Committee (PMC, al-Hashed al-Shaabi) and the factions once the Embassy has been shut down.
EPC | 16 Nov 2020
Eleven months after the election law was approved, the Iraqi Parliament managed at the end of October 2020 to finally agree on the electoral districts’ formula in the general election law, in preparation for the early elections scheduled for June 2021. This paper sheds light on the amendment of the articles on the form of the electoral districts in the law, the positions of the various political and popular actors thereon, and their impact on the expected results of the upcoming elections.
EPC | 09 Nov 2020
The agreement that was reached between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on 9 October 2020 regarding the Sinjar District of the Nineveh Governorate was described as "historic", as it paves the way for the return to normality in the District for the first time since its liberation from the Daesh (IS) organisation, and ends the influence of the Shiite militias and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the District. However, although almost a month has passed since the conclusion of the agreement, it has not yet started to be implemented due to its security provisions that conflict with the interests of the armed factions present in the city.
EPC | 06 Oct 2020
While the US announced, after the return of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi from Washington in August 2020, that it would reduce the size of its forces in Iraq by a third, to keep 3,500 personnel whom President Donald Trump promised to withdraw gradually over the next three years, this announcement did not stop the armed Shiite factions from continuing their missile attacks on the sites of the US forces, especially the area of the US Embassy in Baghdad and the vicinity of the airport. This prompted Washington to threaten to close its diplomatic mission in Baghdad and to respond to those launching the attacks, which would bring political and economic losses to Iraq.
Coinciding with the passage of hundred days since the formation of Mustafa al-Kadhimi's government, a period that is usually viewed as a probation period, the relationship between Kadhimi and a number of political blocs, particularly the Shiites, has been characterised by an overt escalation. This came about against the backdop of Kadhimi’s issuance, on 14 September 2020, of a list of appointments to senior positions in ministries and independent bodies, which was considered by some blocs as an "establishment of political quotas", while other blocs objected to it because it "falls outside the powers" of the Prime Minister.
EPC | 30 Sep 2020
While the Shiite actors are working to hinder, through parliamentary procedures, the holding of the early legislative elections at the date set by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in June 2021, they are taking parallel steps to prepare for the next elections, should they be held.
EPC | 28 Sep 2020
The visit of French President Emmanuel Macron to Baghdad on 2 September 2020 was his first since he assumed office in 2017, but was the third for the top leaders of the French government since Mustafa al-Kadhimi took over as prime minister of Iraq, after the visits by French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in July 2020 and French Minister of the armies (Defence Minister) Florence Parly at the end of August 2020. It was also the first visit by a senior foreign official to Baghdad since Kadhimi took office in May 2020. Those visits carried many indications and agreements that focused on the future of the war on terror and the development of economic relations between the two countries.