By Amberin Zaman for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Kurdistan president: ‘We are not scared of Iran, but we respect Iran’

The assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in a Jan. 3 drone strike carried out by the United States sent shock waves throughout the region.

Those who argued that Tehran would take its time to retaliate proved wrong. On the night of Jan. 8, Iran launched more than a dozen missiles on Iraqi bases housing US forces. Several struck the Ain al-Assad base west of Baghdad.

Several others landed in an open field near an air base in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. Nobody was killed. The attack was seen, however, as a clear message from Tehran about the potential punishment Iraqis would face if they pursue their relations with the United States.

Click here to read the full story.

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Foreign troops’ future in Iraq uncertain as clashes continue

For the security of its personnel, NATO has temporarily suspended its training activities in Iraq, given the recent violence there. Iraqis seem divided over what that will mean for their safety.

The United States on Jan. 3 assassinated Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, in a drone attack near the Baghdad airport.

Iran retaliated by firing missiles at military bases in Iraq where US troops are stationed. There are also mass protests taking place in Iran and Iraq.

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By Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Blood is still on the streets near the Ahrar Bridge in Baghdad. A Red Crescent worker explained that just two days before, Iraqi security forces shot a teen, just 16 or 17 years old, who was participating in the protests.

Further down the street, a group of men said that the teen’s death had been the first in several weeks since the protests began.

Protesters on social media aimed to get 1 million Iraqis to take to the streets Jan. 10, in a bid to prevent their demands from being forgotten.

Slogans such as “the parliament does not represent us” and “take your wars out of Iraq” have largely supplanted earlier ones against corruption.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture credit: Christian Lindgren)

By Aaron David Miller, for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Trump and Khamenei Want the Same Thing

Both President Donald Trump and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have something in common: they both want to hang on to power and a major war between Iran and the United States is not good politics for either one.

Click here to read the full story.

By Aaron David Miller, for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Trump and Khamenei Want the Same Thing

Both President Donald Trump and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have something in common: they both want to hang on to power and a major war between Iran and the United States is not good politics for either one.

Click here to read the full story.

By Maggie Tennis and Strobe Talbott, for The Slate. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Hours before Iran launched a missile attack on U.S. troops in Iraq, Vladimir Putin visited Syria to huddle with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad over the mounting U.S.-Iran crisis.

Russia has repeatedly condemned the U.S. airstrikes that killed Iranian Major Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

It’s fair to assume that leaders in Moscow are seeking to turn the situation to their advantage.

Full report here.

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Hackers zap official Iraqi websites with cyberattacks

Hack attacks are growing at the speed of 5G across the globe, and Iraq has been hard-hit lately.

The official website of controversial Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was hacked Jan. 6 after he called for his followers to activate the Mahdi Army to fight US troops.

His call followed the US assassination of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The hackers put Iraqi-US flags on the homepage, writing: “Iran no more.”

That intrusion came just weeks after several other attacks on official Iraqi websites — including the prime minister’s.

Click here to read the full article.

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Hackers zap official Iraqi websites with cyberattacks

Hack attacks are growing at the speed of 5G across the globe, and Iraq has been hard-hit lately.

The official website of controversial Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was hacked Jan. 6 after he called for his followers to activate the Mahdi Army to fight US troops.

His call followed the US assassination of top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani and the deputy head of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The hackers put Iraqi-US flags on the homepage, writing: “Iran no more.”

That intrusion came just weeks after several other attacks on official Iraqi websites — including the prime minister’s.

Click here to read the full article.

By David Pollock, for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Eight Reasons Why the United States and Iraq Still Need Each Other

The assassination of Qasem Soleimani has brought the tensions in U.S.-Iraqi relations to a boil, with militia factions strong-arming a parliamentary resolution on American troop withdrawal and various European allies contemplating departures of their own.

Before they sign the divorce papers, however, officials in Baghdad and Washington should consider the many reasons why staying together is best for both them and the Middle East.

Full report here.

By Thomas Wright, for Brookings Institution. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

On October 6, 1980 Donald Trump was interviewed by Rona Barrett, one of America’s most famous gossip columnists, on NBC.

It was several weeks before Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the presidential election and near the end of the Iran hostage crisis in which the Iranian regime took 52 American diplomats and citizens prisoner after the embassy was stormed and then held them for 444 days.

It was a long and meandering interview about Trump’s story to date (he was then 34).

About half way though, Barrett asked Trump if he could make America perfect how would he do it.

The full report can be read here.