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For decades, Iraq has been caught between the competing regional interests of the US and Iran. In the ultimate settling of scores, in 2020, the US assassinated Iran's senior commander, Qassem Soleimani, in Iran, leading to rising military tensions. But perhaps the biggest impact of Soleimani's death was on Iraqi Shias, traditionally supportive of Iran. With the heroic figurehead gone, even those with close religious and cultural ties to Iran began to question the extent of Iran's influence in their country, particularly through powerful Iran-backed Shia militia groups.
BBC Persian's Nafiseh Kohnavard has been reporting on Iraq for nearly 20 years. At a time of rising tensions between Iran and the US in Iraq, she travels through Iraq's Shia heartland to see what's changed since the death of Soleimani and finds out how some of Iran's traditional supporters in Iraq are beginning to resent Iran as much as America.
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