Iraq has a new Prime Minister: Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Mustafa al-Kadhimi in a conference

After a six-month crisis triggered by the popular uprising last October, Iraq has a new prime minister with a solid majority in Parliament. He is taking over a country in crisis with the price of crude oil collapsed, the state’s revenues divided, the coronavirus epidemic, and the Isis guerrilla lifting its head again. The new prime minister of Iraq is the ex-head of Internal Services, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a Shiite, former journalist and opponent of Saddam Hussein. He lived in exile in Washington for a long time.

Al-Kadhimi is supported by all Shiite parties and almost all Parliament. He granted a government made up of 15 ministers. However, some appointments, such as that of the oil minister, are still pending. Al-Kadhimi said the fighting against the coronavirus will be one of his top priorities. He also promised justice for the over 1000 protesters killed during demonstrations of last winter.”I am grateful to the people who worked with us to form this executive. I appeal to all political actors to come together under a national program to serve the interests of the country”. The new premier, replacing the resigned Adel Abdel-Mahdi, began.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed the new government and extended the possibility for Baghdad to import Iranian gas by 120 days, despite US sanctions.Iran also considers Al-Kadhimi an acceptable premier. The country collaborated with him in the war against Daesh during the terrible years of the Caliphate.

But a new threat comes from ISIS, which is part of the tensions between American troops and pro-Iranian Shiite militias after the killing of commanders Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on January 3rd. The followers of the new al-Quraishi caliph are active again south of Mosul, the birthplace of the successor of Al-Baghdadi, in the no-man’s-land between Erbil and Kirkuk, and the east of the country. The main reason is the reduction of the Coalition forces, from 7500 to less than 5000, now concentrated in only four bases.

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