BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Two homemade bombs targeted the headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party, which is part of an alliance with cleric Moqtada al-Sadr that won Iraq’s parliamentary election, a party official and security sources said.
The explosive devices were hurled into the garden of the building in Baghdad on Friday and did not cause any casualties, said Jassim Helfi, a senior member of the party.
He described the incident as a message from those opposed to the Sairoon bloc’s calls for reforms in Iraq. Sairoon has promised to end corruption and foreign interference in Iraq’s affairs.
Sadr scored a surprise victory in the election by promising better services and tapping growing resentment with Iran and what voters say is its support for a corrupt political elite.
The cleric himself cannot become prime minister because he did not run in the election, though his bloc’s victory puts him in a position to have a strong say in negotiations on forming a new government.
Sadr reached out to dispossessed Shi’ites and marginalized Sunnis, and restored links with Sunni neighbors while keeping Iran at bay.
The nationalist cleric’s success could be a setback for Iran, which has steadily increased its influence in Iraq – its most important ally in the Middle East – since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.
Before the election, Iran publicly stated it would not allow Sadr’s bloc to govern in Iraq, with which it shares a border.
(Reporting by Michael Georgy; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg)