On Monday, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was prepared to impose sanctions on any Iraqi officials who were deemed corrupt, as well as on those responsible for the deaths and injuries of peaceful demonstrators.
“We will not be inactive until corrupt officials make the Iraqi people suffer. The United States will use our legal powers to punish corrupt individuals who steal the wealth of Iraqis, as well as those who kill and injure peaceful demonstrators”, – Pompeo told the reporters at the Department of State.
At least 315 people have been killed since the beginning of the riots in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, which was the largest demonstration since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Protests are an outburst of public anger against the ruling elite, which is believed to be enriched at the expense of the state and serves foreign powers, especially Iran, as many Iraqis languish in poverty without work, health care or education.
On Monday, protesters blocked the entrance to Iraq’s main merchant port, while schools and government offices in many southern cities were closed in response to calls for a general strike.
Pompeo said the United States was watching developments “very, very closely”.
At the same time, as Turkish publication Daily Sabah reports with reference to the scientist and analyst Mukhttin Ataman, external interference almost always accompanies protests in the Middle East.
“The United States, seeking to weaken Iran’s influence in Iraq, supports the protesters, while Iran remains on the side of the Iraqi government”, – the analyst said. He cited the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as an example of political sponsorship of protests by the United States, in which he accused the Iraqi government of corruption and demanded that it refrain from using force against protesters.
Regional and global powers “exploit and instrumentalize protests” for their own purposes, Ataman summarizes.Protests in Georgia: six people injured and about 40 detained