Fred Saberi

Iranian regime wants to turn Iraq into Syria

The image from AFP

After the withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), the Islamist regime in Iran embarked on a campaign of chaos, fearmongering and piracy in the Persian Gulf to further reveal its true colors.

Against the background of intense pressure from the US, Iranian Mullahs tried to destabilize the neighboring countries through their go-to proxies. For example, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups fired missiles at Israel while Yemeni Houthi rebels launched attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Moreover, the theocratic regime, engages in ransom-taking to force the European leaders into believing that Iran is the foremost regional power in maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf region. Through this scheme, Tehran aims to activate its financial channel with Europe.

The Islamist regime has gone to the extreme in its trademark acts of terrorism by firing several missiles at Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia with the ultimate aim of fomenting conflict and pushing the global oil market into panic.

The regime’s desperate attempts at getting out of its self-made quagmire have been nullified by the wise policies of the Israeli and Saudi leaders and President Trump’s forbearance in the face of the Iranian regime’s hostility.

In another development, three important European countries sided with the US in acknowledging that Iran is the perpetrator of terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia; and they all ratcheted up sanctions against Tehran’s pyromaniacal regime.

The desperate Islamist regime, which is fighting for its survival, has now targeted Iraq as a scapegoat. It exploited the power vacuum in Iraq and infiltrated into that country’s institutions and society to the point that Iraq can now be considered a client state of the Iranian regime.

During recent weeks, ordinary Iraqis who are aware of their plight and are fed up with the Iranian regime’s devastating policies protested that regime’s influence in Iraq. These protests have foiled the regime’s plans for sending its terror forces to Iraq under the cover of ‘Arbaeen pilgrimage.

The Islamis regime exploits Iraq to circumvent the US sanctions as well as sends weapons and terrorists to Syria and Lebanon. They have opened the “Alghaem” border crossing point in Syria with the assistance of Iraqi government and Hashd-a-Shaabi. It is worth mentioning that “Alghaem” border crossing point had been closed for years.

The Islamist regime now finds itself as the loser in this game after its proxies Badr Corps and Hashd Shaabi violently targeted the peaceful protesters, shot and killed them. The death toll has climbed to more than 100, and more than 2000 people have been wounded.

That prompted an outcry among locals  with many chanting slogans like “Islamic republic must leave Iraq;” and some set the Islamist regime’s flag on fire in protest against its meddling in Iraq’s affairs.

There is another aspect to these events: Tehran’s officials, through a widespread and relentless PR campaign, have encouraged Iranians to take part in the ‘Arbaaeen mourning ceremony in order to send their shock troops to Iraq.

Ali Khamenei, not surprisingly, points the finger towards the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and describes the Iraqi people’s protests as “foreign enemies’ scheme;” yet he never mentions his own meddling in Iraq and other countries.

What is clear is that most of the protesters are Iraqi Shi’a who have lost hope in their corrupt politicians and religious leaders. They know by now that they are Tehran’s puppets, and they want an entirely new national government.

In the meantime, Hossein Shariatmadari, Supreme Leader’s close confidant, has called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad. Such desperate measures further highlight the hostage-taking culture that is ingrained in the character of the Islamist regime.

The Iranian regime is aware that most of the Iraqi politicians are corrupt figureheads who could be bought. Therefore, the regime tries to ravage Iraq and turn it to another Syria and use it as its last trench to increase its own life span.

The Islamist regime has taken great pains to instill fear in the Iranians that if the regime falls Iran will end up like Syria. But the recent events in Iraq show that the people of Iran and Iraq suffer from the same problem: the Islamist regime itself.

Recent protests by suffering Iraqis who sacrificed life and limb without a patriotic leader by their side could be an important lesson for Iranians. In fact, what Iraqi people don’t have by their side is a leader that Iranians do, namely, Crown Prince Reza Pahlavi. His key role will be manifested as a trusted and popular leader of Iran in these tumultuous times when the Islamist regimes falls apart in the end.

About the Author
Fred Saberi is a Swedish political analyst of Iranian origin interested in Middle East affairs.