A deputy in the Iraqi parliament has told IranWire that Ismail Qaani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ expeditionary Quds Force, has paid a second visit to Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi political parties forming the new government.
The politician, who asked not to be named, said: “Qaani arrived in Iraq, then went to Najaf to hold meetings with parties in the Sadrist movement and other Shiite groups, to bring the views closer following some political disagreements between the Shiite parties recently.”
They added that Qaani's visit aimed to unify positions between the Sadrist bloc, which holds the majority in the Iraqi parliament, and the Iran-backed Al-Fatah Alliance representing the Popular Mobilization Forces. A recent tweet by Muqtada al-Sadr, an Iraqi Shia cleric whose movement made major gains in last year’s election, prompted disquiet within the ranks as he said the new government would be “free of militias”.
The meetings follow a previous, unannounced visit by Qaani to Baghdad in November 2021 after an attempt on the life of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi by an armed drone attack on his home.