Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi said in a November 6, 2019 interview on Al-Mamlaka TV (Jordan) that he thinks the situation in Iraq will become much worse than it is and that the current demonstrations in Iraq are mostly in response to Iranian influence. He said this is reflected by the fact that there are protests even in the mostly-Shiite governorates in southern Iraq and that Iran interferes in Iraq either directly or by means of proxies.
Ayad Allawi: I believe that the situation in Iraq will become worse. Much worse. In addition to the Iraqi statements of condemnation, there are now condemnation statements from the countries of the world. They condemn what is happening in Iraq.
Interviewer: Do you think that the orders [the quash the popular protest] come from Tehran? From Iran? Qasem Soleimani of the IRGC has made repeated visits. It looks as if he is the one urging to crush the protests.
Ayad Allawi: I will be completely honest. Part of the reasons for this intifada is the foreign influence, which mainly comes from Iran. Iran’s influence in Iraq has led to this. I warn the Iranians when I talk to them. The last official I talked to was FM Zarif, who visited Baghdad and asked to meet me. The truth is… The demonstrations, especially in the holy places in Karbala… They tried to burn down the Iranian consulate in Karbala. In Basra, the demonstrations were against Iran. In Samawah… In almost all the southern governorates, the demonstrations were against Iran, even though the population in the southern governorates is mostly Shiite. This reflects Iran’s interference. Iran has begun to interfere – either directly or by means of its proxies – and they accuse the protests of being collaborators, vandals, and infiltrators, and this is not true. If you have hundreds of thousands of infiltrators, it’s the end of the world.