Image credit: Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office/Handout via REUTERS

February 28, 2023

Al-Sudani's First 100 Days

By Hamzeh Hadad, Erwin van Veen and Folkert Woudstra

On 27 October 2022, Mohammed Shiya al-Sudani assumed office as Prime Minister (PM) of Iraq. After more than 12 months of political competition between the Sadrist Movement (led by religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr) and the Coordination Framework (which brings a range of Shi’a parties together and of which the new PM is part), al-Sudani’s election was a breakthrough. He started work in a dynamic but relatively positive environment. Tensions between Iran and the US in Iraq are currently at a low point, in large part due to the combination of the war in Ukraine, protests in Iran, and the pretense by both Washington and Tehran that the nuclear deal (JCPOA) is not yet dead.

The first 100 days of the government of Prime Minister Mohammed Shiya al-Sudani are a model of appeasement.

At the same time, only a low-level insurgency remains of the once mighty Islamic State. Since June 2021, the group has been able to conduct only a few dozen small-scale attacks per month and mostly in rural areas. Moreover, the infighting among Iraq’s political elites that took a few violent turns between November 2021 and August 2022 has since decreased to more manageable proportions. Al-Sadr has temporarily withdrawn from political engagement, while Baghdad and Erbil intensified their dialogue to find solutions for budgetary, oil/gas and security disagreements.

Read the full brief from Clingendael.

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