During a news conference on 22 June, Iraqi cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran does not meddle into the internal political affairs of Iraq nor does it issue diktats to Shia Muslim political parties in the country.
The leader of the Sadrist movement added that the nature of Iran-Iraq relations is based on mutual respect for sovereignty in response to rumors and allegations that the Sadrist bloc resigned from parliament en masse due to threats from Iran.
The political situation in Iraq has witnessed eight months of failures to form a new government following last year’s elections, amid high unemployment rates and public discontent with corruption found within state institutions.
The elections were subject to controversy, with allegations of meddling by the US and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.
The Sadrist movement’s vacant seats will be filled by runner-up election candidates, altering the power balance in parliament, and allowing negotiations for government formation to operate under different power dynamics.
In mid-May, Al-Sadr announced his party had “no choice but to join the opposition for at least 30 days,” marking the second time his bloc stepped aside from negotiations to form a government.
In early April, Al-Sadr opened the door for the Coordination Framework (CF) to lead the negotiations.
The CF is an ad hoc group of Shia parties with close ties to the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), including the State of Law Coalition and the Fatah Alliance. These parties lost by a large margin to the Sadrist bloc last year, with many alleging fraud in the results.
CF members have called the resignation by Al-Sadr a “political maneuver.”
Last month, the UN envoy to Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, warned that the streets of Iraq “will boil over” if the political crisis is not resolved.