Inside Story

Is Iraq becoming a battleground between Washington and Tehran?

Angry protesters stormed the US embassy in Baghdad after the US attacked an Iranian-backed paramilitary group.

There were dramatic scenes at the United States embassy in Iraq as supporters and members of the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) surrounded the compound in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad.

Their demand: an end to American intervention in the country. 

They threw rocks and set fires outside and security personnel responded with tear gas.

The US then deployed marines to secure the compound, before the protesters’ leaders told them to withdraw.

President Donald Trump has blamed Iran for the demonstrations – Tehran denies being involved.

There’s widespread anger over recent US air raids against the Hezbollah Brigades in Iraq and in Syria.

The US says they were launched in retaliation to a rocket attack on Friday near Kirkuk that killed an American civilian contractor.

So, how can this latest tension be contained?

Presenter: Julie McDonald


Ahmed Rushdi – Senior foreign policy adviser for the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament.

Mohammad Marandi – Head of North American studies at the University of Tehran.

Ismael Alsodani – Former Iraqi defence attache to the United States and a retired Iraqi brigadier general.