Iraq’s southern Shiites protest almost annually in Iraq, lamenting their “stolen country” due to Iranian influence and overall poor Iraqi governance. This time around, the government has responded violently and, as casualties have mounted, the protests have grown. This has created an especially delicate situation. How things unfold from here will determine the stability of the country in the year ahead. The impact on oil has been minimal, but a longer and stronger cycle of protests and violence would not bode well for expanding production or sustaining current flows.