In response to the riots at Basra, the secular coalition of Moqtada al-Sadr has requested an apology from and the resignation of their former ally, the Iraqi Prime Minister Haïder al-Abadi.

Moqtada al-Sadr, although the Shiite leader, promises both a policy of independence with respect to Iran and the United States and a strategy of alliance with the other Iraqi religious groupings.

Prime Minister Haïder al-Abadi came to power in 2014 imposed jointly by the United States and Iran despite the democratic election of Nouri al-Maliki. He undertook to follow the US policy during his next mandate and announced that he would apply Washington’s sanctions against Teheran.

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, another of the country’s eminent Shiite personalities, has called for an emergency constitution of a new government to resolve the crisis.

The riots that have just broken out in Basra have ancient causes and a new cause: the poisoning of running water, which is now too salty to be drunk. The riots have cost the lives of at least 14 persons. Basra is the oil lung of Iraq. Independently of the water crisis and the problem with the public services, the city will thus be impacted by the decision to follow or reject the US sanctions against Iran. It is also city with a large Shiite majority, which is the species of Islam followed by the majority of people in Iran. Despite this the Iranian consulate and an Iranian delegation at the airport have been savagely attacked.

These events are taking place just as the Iranian Government of Hassan Rohani has given up hoping for EU aid and has taken on board the sanctions issued by US President Trump. Due to this, the government of Rohani has just met with the Guardians of the Revolution to reinforce their military positions abroad.

Anoosha Boralessa