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Iraqi sources: Iran intervened to prevent overthrow of Adil Abdul-Mahdi

Adil Abdul-Mahdi Prime Minister of Iraq [Twitter]
Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi on 6 February 2019 [Twitter]

Sources close to two of the most influential figures in Iraq revealed on Thursday that Iran intervened to prevent the overthrow of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, amid anti-government demonstrations that erupted weeks ago.

The sources informed Reuters that Shi'ite cleric, Muqtada Al-Sadr, demanded this week for Abdul-Mahdi to call for holding early elections in an effort to calm the largest popular protests in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003, and urged his main political rival, Hadi Al-Amiri, who leads the Iran-backed Fatah Alliance, to help oust the prime minister.

However, Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, intervened on Wednesday in a secret meeting held in Baghdad, and asked Al-Amiri and the Popular Mobilisation Forces leadership to continue supporting Abdul-Mahdi, according to five well-informed sources on the meeting.

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