Iran-backed parties have not escaped the ire of protestors in Iraq’s Shia south. Riyadh stepped up efforts to woo Baghdad and curb Iran’s influence, but faces an uphill battle.

Chaos continued in Iraq’s southern provinces this week as demonstrators protested corruption, unemployment, a crippling water crisis, routine power cuts, and Baghdad’s inability to address these endemic issues. The highly influential Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani broke silence on the matter...