Skip to main content

Iran gathers power in Iraq as US further sidelined

Iran has succeeded in expanding its influence in Iraq by supporting the Shiite paramilitary forces there, a move that the United States has avoided since 2003.
An Iraqi woman walks past a giant poster showing Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on February 05, 2015. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an end to a years-old nightly curfew in the Iraqi capital in a bid to ease restrictions on daily life despite persistent violence, officials said. The army and police checkpoints across Baghdad cause massive traffic jams that are a major source of irritation for Iraqis and often follow lax security procedures
Read in 

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — While the United States has invested trillions of dollars and thousands of lives since 2003 to bring Iraq into its orbit, today it is Iran that appears to have achieved that goal, albeit with far less costs in terms of money and lives, observers and analysts of Iraqi affairs agree.

There appears to be no better demonstration of Iran’s success in having firmly established its hegemony across Iraq than in the current operation to retake the Sunni-dominated province of Salahuddin in central Iraq. The operation to push out Islamic State (IS) militants from Tikrit and its surrounding areas in Salahuddin is being carried out by a ragtag force of Shiite Popular Mobilization Units, the Iraqi army and some local Sunni tribes.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.