According to the official who requested to remain anonymous, one of the assassination attempts was “in an advanced stage of execution” when it was foiled. Iraqi police have arrested several officers who admitted responsibility to, the official maintained, what seems to have been an explosion at the entrance to Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone.
Speaking from his London residence, the official said that Abadi has recently survived several assassination attempts, two of them have been thwarted with the help of Washington’s embassy in Baghdad.
The other assassination plot was uncovered in its early stages, the official added.
Washington has informed Abadi of the attempted assassinations, the official said, adding that they seem to have been prompted by what he described as the PM’s “very bold” decisions and positions towards some of the political powers in Iraq.
One such decision, the official maintained, was when Abadi differed with a senior Popular Mobilization force commander over the number of vehicles to be allocated to escort the powerful Iranian general Qassem Suleimani during an unofficial visit to Iraq.
Tehran later reassured Abadi that he had the right to make that decision but the PM remained concerned about the consequences it may entail.
Abadi has introduced reforms to Iraq’s political system, including scrapping layers of senior government posts, cutting security details and other perks for officials, in response to street protests demanding better services.
The PM warned Monday that his reforms were facing strong resistance from those who “fear losing their privileges.”
He said he would “proceed to achieve equality and justice and would not back away from the reforms even if they cost me my life.”
In comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Iraqi State of Law Coalition MP Muwaffaq Al-Rubaie said: “Reforms undertaken by the Iraqi PM are facing major challenges, most prominently including those from the political class… and some of the influential figures within the political blocs.”