Protests erupted across Iraq this week following the controversial dismissal of the popular Lt. Gen. Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, one of the country’s leading counter-terrorism figures. The focus of much of the protests has been the influence of Iran on the Iraqi government, with Tehran seen as the force behind the dismissal. This has conflated with perennial anger over corruption and poor provision of services to spark the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi premiership since his appointment last October (MEES, 26 October 2018). What began as peaceful protests swiftly morphed into violence following a heavy-handed response from security forces and there have been multiple casualties. The government had done well to avoid summer protests through improved electricity provision (MEES, 19 July), but its mishandling of the current situation has unnecessarily inflamed tensions.