Shi'ite group marks Soleimani killing anniversary

Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary leader, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, were killed by a U.S. airstrike on January 3, 2020.

Since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled minority Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqi governments have been dominated by parties from the Shi'ite majority, in coalitions that have included Kurdish parties.

But Iraq's Supreme Court last week ratified the results of an October parliamentary election and rejected appeals lodged by Iran-backed Shi'ite factions, derailing their attempt to overturn a vote in which they performed poorly.

Several Tehran-backed Iraqi organizations gathered supporters from different cities in front of Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, where they listened to speeches by Shi’ite militia leaders and chanted slogans targeting the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.

“Foreign forces must exit completely from Iraqi land. We must achieve complete national sovereignty for Iraq,” said Iraqi militia commander and head of the Badr Organisation, Hadi al-Amiri, as he addressed supporters from a stage.

Tehran is seeking to preserve its deep influence in Iraq while also navigating tense negotiations over its nuclear ambitions with the United States.

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