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Iraq’s finance minister resigns in response to political unrest

According to two government officials, Iraq’s finance minister resigned on Tuesday as a result of the nation’s greatest political crisis in years, which involved a powerful Shiite cleric and his Iran-aligned opponents. According to the sources, who requested anonymity in accordance with rules, Finance Minister Ali Allawi quit during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday in protest of the political climate. Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, the oil minister, would reportedly take over as interim finance minister.

Allawi’s decision came weeks after members of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc resigned from parliament and his supporters stormed the parliament building in Baghdad. Al-Sadr later demanded that parliament be dissolved and early elections held.

Al-Sadr won the largest share of seats in the election last October but failed to form a majority government that excluded his Iran-aligned rivals.

Al-Sadr’s political rivals in the Coordination Framework, an alliance of Iran-backed parties, said earlier that parliament would have to convene to dissolve itself. They called the al-Sadr supporters’ storming of parliament a “coup” and have held demonstrations in support of the government.

Iraq’s political impasse, now in its 10th month, is the longest in the country since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion reset the political order.

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