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The Badr Organization

Iran’s Most Important Instrument in Iraq

SWP Comment 2017/C 26, 21.07.2017, 8 Pages Research Areas

Since 2014, the Shiite Badr Organization, led by its Secretary General Hadi al-Amiri, has become one of the main actors in Iraqi politics. This development was largely possible due to the successes of its paramilitary units in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). The Badr Organization, which relies strongly on support from Tehran, has thus become the most important instrument of Iranian politics in its neighbouring country. Tehran’s aim is to exert as much influence as possible on the central government in Baghdad and, at the same time, build a strong militia that depends on it. Since Badr established control over the province of Diyala and the Interior Ministry of Baghdad, the organization has grown appreciably and is now playing a role similar to that of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Badr is also part of a growing “Shiite International” which supports the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and aggravates religious conflicts between Sunnites and Shiites through its violent acts. The combination of these factors makes the organization an increasingly important obstacle to the future stabilization of Iraq.