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An Iraqi protester waves the national flag during a demonstration against an Iranian missile strike A protester waves the national flag near Tahrir Square during a demonstration against an Iranian missile strike, in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 8, 2020 (AP photo by Khalid Mohammed).

How Soleimani’s Assassination Is Upending Iraq’s Foreign Policy

Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020

Nearly a week after the United States military assassinated Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general who headed the elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in Baghdad, a huge rift has opened up in the U.S. relationship with Iraq. A high-ranking Iraqi militia commander, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was also killed in the U.S. strike, angering many Iraqis. And on Sunday, the Iraqi parliament passed a nonbinding resolution urging the government to expel U.S. troops from Iraq, although the Trump administration insists it plans to stay.

For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s Elliot Waldman is joined by Sajad Jiyad, managing director of the al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies, an independent think tank in Baghdad. Jiyad discusses the implications of the strike on Soleimani for Iraq’s foreign policy, and how it complicates Baghdad’s already difficult balancing act between Washington and Tehran.

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Relevant Articles on WPR:
Will the Soleimani Assassination Turn the U.S.-Iran Proxy Conflict Into a Shooting War?
Why Hitting the Pause Button Is the Best the U.S. and Iran Can Hope For
Defying Repression, Protesters Seek to Change Iraq’s Post-Saddam Political Order
Reeling From U.S. Sanctions, Iran Tries to Step Up Economic Engagement With Iraq

Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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