„The Middle East is currently witnessing the first examples of popular rebellion in countries dominated by Iran. In the very different contexts of Iraq and Lebanon, the protests now under way have a similar focus on political and economic corruption, mismanagement, and limited popular access to power and resources. In both cases, despite this focus, the demonstrators are being confronted with the fact of the domination of their country by an outside-imposed structure.
In Iraq, demonstrations began on October 1. The protests took place in Baghdad, and rapidly spread to a number of cities in the southern part of the country, including Nasiriya, Diwaniya, Babil, Wasit, Muthanna, and Dhi Qar governorates. The immediate cause was the firing by Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of a popular general, Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, from his post as deputy commander of the Counter-Terrorism Service.
Saadi’s firing, however, was from the outset redolent of broader issues. A Baghdad Shia himself, Saadi is known for his anti-sectarian positions and professionalism. The CTS, in which he served, is a force established and trained by the Americans. His removal from his position was thus widely interpreted as an effort by the Iran-linked Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) to rid itself of a potential rival.“ (…)