February 21, 2020
Demonstrating student in Baghdad
The writer advised in a report mentioned in the Foreign Policy magazine, the United States, that it should stay away from the support of Prime Minister-designate Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi as it came as a result of a strong agreement close to Iran and that his presence would not give any opportunity to make progress in relations between Baghdad and Washington, but rather, on the contrary.
Instead, the writer calls on the United States to focus its energies on supporting the protests by starting a concerted campaign to keep the eyes of the world open on the attacks being carried out by pro-Iranian parties.
These tips were included in an article published by the journal Thursday by the researcher John Hanna, who works as a senior fellow at the Washington-based Defense of Democracies and said, "Iraq needs regime change again."
Hanna, who served as Deputy National Security Adviser under President George W. Bush, says the nomination of Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi as prime minister is a dead end for relations between Iraq and the United States alike.
He adds that Allawi does not have any opportunity to solve the two major crises that Iraq is currently suffering from, namely the collapse of the legitimacy of the political class that ruled in Iraq after 2003, and secondly, the inability to end the influence of Iran and the militias loyal to it that are escalating day after day.
The author of the article believes that the United States' departure from supporting Allawi's candidacy and focusing its energies on supporting the protest movement is the only hope not only to save Iraq, but to save the future of US-Iraqi relations as well.
John Hanna concedes that supporting the protest movement, which does not have clear leadership, without contaminating it and inadvertently putting it at risk is a real difficult political challenge for the United States.
But he nonetheless proposes a number of steps that the American administration should take in order to ensure this, among them:
First: a concerted campaign to keep the spotlight on Iran’s protests and attacks and its arms against demonstrators.
Second: The United States and allied countries adopt resolutions and recommendations in the Security Council and other international organizations to express solidarity and interest in the Iraqi people.
Third: Finding ways to help Iraqi and international NGOs working discreetly with protesters to direct their movement and demands to a practical political program.
Fourth: Helping protesters gain access to secure communications technologies to counter the Internet's restrictive Iraqi actions.
Fifth: Accelerating procedures to punish people who participated in the persecution of protesters, not only militia leaders, but also include senior politicians and their aides such as cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and leader of the Alliance of Fateh Hadi al-Amiri.
Allawi, 65, a former communications minister, was assigned to form the new government on February 1, with the blessing of Muqtada al-Sadr and the Iranian-backed construction alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri.
And the former Prime Minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, resigned from his post last December over the impact of the protests taking place in Baghdad and the Shiite-dominated cities of the south since October 1, and calls for early elections and fighting corruption.
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