The Situation in Iraq: Policy Implications for the West
A key aspect of the ongoing political crisis in Iraq is the anger directed at foreign meddling, and specifically, at the role played by Iran and its proxies. The IRGC Qods Force has penetrated deep into Iraqi power structures over the last 15 years. Weakening and possibly reducing this Iranian grip, through an appeal to Iraqi nationalism, will not solve Iraq's profound problems. Among other challenges, the Islamic State still has influence in some Sunni areas. Nevertheless, countering Iran's power is still an achievable goal, worth pursuing.
Armed Opposition Groups in Iran
Armed opposition groups emerging from the Kurdish, Baloch and Ahvazi Arab minorities have stepped-up attacks on regime assets in Iran. Tehran is responding by acting against these opponents, in Pakistan and Iraq and further afield. But these insurgencies are not capable by themselves of calling the regime’s viability into question, because of their relatively narrow bases of support.