When the prospect of loosening the grip of the Iranian-backed parties and factions on the authority in Iraq came to light on the horizon after the killing of the Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, those parties resorted to a competitor whose movements cannot be predicted.

In meetings in the Iranian city of Qom, these blocs concluded an agreement with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, who is affiliated with millions of Iraqis.

Senior Iraqi officials, and some knowledgeable factions in the factions, say that these groups have promised Sadr greater powers in forming the new Iraqi government, and an expanded role in its spiritual leadership.

On the other hand, the sources said that he would use his followers to weaken the opposition to the government and Iran, which exploded in the Iraqi streets, and redirect the protests to focus on demanding the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

The objective of this agreement is to preserve the influence of these factions in Iraq by reconciling the factions and groups supported by Iran and the rival Sadrist movement.

The killing of Soleimani and the engineer left the factions in a state of confusion (French)

Seize opportunities
The American air raid in which Soleimani and Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, deputy chief of the Popular Mobilization in Iraq were killed on January 3, have left the factions in a state of confusion.

Al-Sadr had also lost some of his balance. He had led anti-government protests in previous years, but he had not controlled the wave of recent protests that had exploded in spontaneous demonstrations without anti-government leadership and had been ongoing since last October.

Officials and lawmakers say that Sadr - known to seize opportunities, and previously fought the United States and denounced Iranian intervention and supported protests and then abandoned them - has become this deal in a position that appears to him great influence in a new government to be chosen by Thursday. The Adel Abdul Mahdi government resigned under the pressure of protests last year.

Two sources with the factions said that Sadr demanded during the "Qom" meetings that he have control over two ministries in the government of Prime Minister-designate Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi, who asked parliament to approve his government this week.

The two sources also said that the armed factions agreed that al-Sadr could have an expanded symbolic role in its leadership in opposing the United States.

Government officials and lawmakers say Sadr will have significant influence in forming the government proposed by Allawi. The Prime Minister had said that independent candidates would take over the ministries.

"If this government is approved, it will be in Sadr’s favor," a government official said. "He favors the independents because they are weak and can use them to his advantage. He has an armed faction and has the ability to intimidate people."

Sunni and Kurdish politicians oppose the formation that Sadr is pushing for fear of losing control of some cabinet portfolios.

Al-Sadr has taken confusion about the demonstrators (Anatolia)

Impending gains
Al-Sadr may achieve political gains in the short term, but the agreement with the Iranian-backed factions has caused the displeasure of many of his supporters.

Al-Sadr's supporters left the protesters' tents based on his instructions, and even assaulted them later, even though they had previously participated in protests, and in some cases, protests from violence by the security forces and factions.

Sadr had threatened to call for a new "million" to pressure the parliament to approve the new government, before returning to abolish it because of fears of the spread of the Coruna virus.