Iraqi armed factions loyal to Iran, alongside a handful of political allies, have decided to withdraw confidence from Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s government by delaying upcoming elections indefinitely, local sources reported.
The meeting between US President Joe Biden and Kadhimi on Monday failed to satisfy pro-Iran armed factions because they are determined to escalate matters with Washington and undermine US interests in Iraq.
Kadhimi’s White House talks sealed a deal for ending US combat missions in Iraq by the end of 2021 without any indication of concluding US presence in the country.
Ending US presence in Iraq is a core demand of the armed factions under constant pressure from Tehran, their crucial supporter.
In a televised interview, Akram al-Kaabi, the founder and secretary-general of Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba in Iraq, reaffirmed that his forces would continue to attack US troops in the country regardless of whether they are training or carrying out combat missions.
“All truce agreements with the government and the US are now under revision,” a political chief in one of the armed factions, who requested anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“We do not know if the current polling date is independent of the upcoming changes,” they added.
It goes without saying that the goal of ending Kadhimi’s mandate and the move to postpone elections may be contradictory. Still, current changes, added to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, have forced the factions to seek ousting the prime minister through manipulating election dates.
“The leaders of these factions began urgent understandings with allied political actors, both Sunnis, and Shiites, to agree on mechanisms to withdraw confidence from Kadhimi,” sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Taking confidence away from Kadhimi depends on embarrassing him by postponing elections,” revealed a senior party official.
“They want him weak to strike the final blow,” the official added.