By Evan Langenhahn
@Adobe Stock Images.

Last month, protests broke out in Basra after the Iranian government cut one-third of the total electricity used by Iraq’s second-largest city. Demonstrations against power shortages and other longstanding grievances such as unemployment quickly spread throughout Iraq’s Shia-majority south, leading Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to dismiss his minister of electricity. Iran, a major provider of Iraq’s electricity in the wake of the war against the Islamic State group (ISIL), variously blamed its neighbor’s nonpayment of electricity bills, spiraling electricity demand and demonstrations at home, and U.S. sanctions for the shortfall.

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