Aug 23, 2020 18:45 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Aug 23, 2020 22:12 Asia/Tehran]
  • Unrest in Basra has escalated
    Unrest in Basra has escalated

Immediately after returning from the United States, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazemi went to Basra to review the developments.

Iran PressMiddle East: For the past five years, Basra has witnessed the formation of anti-government demonstrations almost every summer, turning them into social violence.

Iraq has been facing problems for years, such as unemployment and weak government services, especially the supply of electricity and water. Just as these problems could not be attributed to the former Iraqi government headed by Adil Abdul Mahdi, who was in power for only one year, today's problems cannot be attributed to the government of Mustafa al-Kazemi too. 

The problems are such a legacy inherited from the Ba'athist regime and the American occupation for the Iraqi people and governments.

However, there are two issues of "emerging" harms and threats in Iraq that are deeply troubling to the Iraqi people. These two issues are corruption and the assassination of civil activists. Corruption in Iraq has become a terrible monster, and there is no clear prospect to deal with it.

17 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, the volume of robberies and embezzlements is estimated at about $ 400 billion, and this is not acceptable to the people; Because people rightly believe that with this amount of money, problems such as unemployment, the electricity, and the drinking water crisis, and infrastructure weaknesses can be eliminated.

One of the reasons for the protests in Basra is that despite the richness of Iraq and especially Basra, crises such as unemployment and the lack of electricity and drinking water are not acceptable.

Basra has 65 billion barrels of proven Iraqi oil reserves and 3.5 million barrels of oil are exported daily, but the people of this Shia province are deprived of oil revenues.

Amid popular protests in Basra, the assassination of civil society activists aimed at "injecting violence" into Iraq has sparked outrage.

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Al-Kazemi's government had previously tried to calm protesters by removing the Basra police chief and several security officials, but this did not happen. Eight people were assassinated in one month and three by gunmen in the past week, and the assassination of Roham Yaghoub, a nutritionist, escalated the violence.

Iraqi analysts and personalities believe that what is happening in Basra is being carried out by the enemies and some internal currents. Qais al-Khazali, secretary-general of Asaeb Ahl al-Haq in Iraq, believes that the developments in Basra have political goals and that some influential parties are planning and implementing these developments.

Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who heads the Coalition for the Rule of Law, also sees the developments in Basra as politically motivated.

There seem to be two political goals behind the developments in Basra. The first goal is to oust Basra governor Asaad al-Aidani. 

Criticizing US sanctions against Iran, Al-Aidani said in February 2019: "Even one day, Basra cannot be a part of the US sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and we will never accept that our neighboring country is being persecuted through Iraq."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran was the first country to support Iraq during the ISIS crisis and to stand by our country and offer martyrs and many sacrifices," al-Aidani said.

The second goal is to access the large Hout prison and break its doors and release the famous prisoners who are in this prison. Leaders of the disbanded Ba'ath party and Saudi-backed terrorists are being held in the prison.

Written by: Seyyed Razi Emadi

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