The Iranians are taking advantage of the chaos and power vacuum in Iraq to solidify themselves in the country. They are now stockpiling a number of short-range missiles in Iraq. This is part of their plan to increase their leverage across the Middle East and to check the influence of the United States and Israel in the region.

Massive protests have unfolded in Iraq. They have paralyzed the country and forced Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to resign. Some of the protests, however, are against the strong Iranian influence in the country. Many Iraqis are claiming that Iranian proxy militias have attacked protesters. 

Iraqis know that Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commander Qassem Soleimani, along with the Lebanese Hezbollah, is trying to convince Shi’ite and Sunni political forces to choose an Iranian-favored candidate to replace Abdul Mahdi.

The Iranians are experiencing violent protests of their own these past months. U.S. officials estimate that over 1,000 Iranians have been killed and 7,000 arrested in the violence that is sweeping the nation. A video that was sneaked out of the country shows Iranian security forces shooting at unarmed civilians.