Tensions in the former Spanish colony have sparked concern around the globe, with the United Nations, the African Union, Algeria and Mauritania urging both sides to respect a 1991 ceasefire.
Iraqi protesters are concerned whether Prime Minister Mahdi's replacement will be acceptable to the nation, while experts warn that any bold moves by Iran could lead to further bloodshed or worse.
Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi insists on a political reconciliation rather than early elections, but the leaders of the two largest blocs in the parliament insist he must step down.
The United Nations had earlier urged for an end to violence in Iraq, during six days of anti-government rallies marred by the killing of over 100 people, mainly protesters.
In Iraq, protesters have long been demanding reforms. But this time, they want to take the government down, and they don’t need a protest leader to mobilise.
Once driving the populist wave during the protests in Iraq, cleric Muqtada al Sadr has now been mandated to resolve the protesters' demands.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi and cleric Moqtada al Sadr said their alliance "doesn't not mean the door is closed for the remaining blocs" to join them.
Iraqi elections' big winner Moqtada al Sadr promised a non-corrupt political system, less sectarian division, and sovereignty under a coalition he wants to create. But the challenge of realising them is bigger than forming a government.
The Iraqi election haven't just given us a winner. Sadr's evolution from a sectarian cleric feared by the US to the most influential leader is the personification of the change that Iraqis have been searching for.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi says all blocs should take part in the political process while Muqtada al Sadr, whose alliance won the May 12 elections, invited all parties to help form a new government.
Iraq has been struggling to come out from under the political morass that has gripped the country after the US invasion. The victory of Muqtada al Sadr's broad alliance could be the first sign that things might change for the better in Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has held meetings with two leaders from Iraq that have a violent sectarian past. In a bid to counter Iran's influence, the Saudis might be getting into bed with those accused of serious crimes against the Sunni population in Iraq.
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