By: Hamid Enayat
A look at Iraq’s recent evolution

The structure of the Iranian regime and its need to intervene in other countries relying on terrorism Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, viewed the slogan of "War till to remove sedition from the world" as Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist’s primary purpose and described peace as "burying Islam" and equaled "ceasefire" with Iraq after the eight-year war to "venom."

Thirty-three years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini was seeking to conquer Iraq under the slogan of "occupation of Qods through the way of Karbala". After the exit of most of the US troops in 2011, the occupation of Iraq by Mullahs is almost done now.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has recently said: "We require an extensive and transboundary view; this strategic depth is sometimes even more important than the country's most urgent problems" Regarding this, he also stated on January 5, 2017: "If we did not stop the enemy in Syria, we would have to do it in Tehran, Fars, Khorasan and Isfahan".

On the other hand, the president of the Iranian regime, Hassan Rouhani, praised the Qods terrorist force commander, Qasem Soleimani's performance by saying: “Today, if we widen the look to eastern Iran Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, we will see the footprints of Sardar Soleimani's gallantries and feats (…). The security of all the other countries that ask us for help is in charge of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, who are in those fields with courage to defend our holy shrines in Iraq and Syria; to defend the oppressed people in Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan and elsewhere who asks the Iranian people and its government for help”. (May 2016)

The Iranian regime is based on the medieval religious dogmas held on the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, which constitution is based on the denial of the popular sovereignty and the Islamic Revolution export theory. Unable to meet the economic and cultural demands of the people in the 21st century, this religious dictatorship is expanding to escape from this accountability and to preserve its own existence, all this, through the use of terrorism and militancy.

“Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is a military-police dictatorship, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards is its support tool, which the regime trusts most. It has become the central organ for the application of wrath and military repression. But what stimulates the Revolutionary Corps is the reactionary and belligerent based spirit based on the theory of universal guardianship” (February 11, 1999).

Current regime leaders have repeated several times that they see Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and the Far East as the battlefields to achieve strategic system depth and consider any withdrawal of transnational and terrorist interventions as a vital threat to their domination in Tehran and inside Iran's borders. 

The former commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, stated: "The Revolutionary Guards are defending thousands of kilometers beyond the borders today" (December 2015). And Ali Saeedi, Khamenei's representative in the Revolutionary Guards Corps, added: "If "Fajr 5" rocket was not in Gaza, the fate of this region would be unknown" (May 2016).

If the regime's expansionism gets curbed, the repressive blade inside Iran will be slowed down. 

If repression breaks loose, the fundamentalist issue will be stopped. The existence of the Revolutionary Guard Corps as the system’s most critical security organ depends on the spread of internal repression and the issuance of fundamentalism under the name of Islam. 

The abandonment of the popular oppression and the export of fundamentalism to Iraq as the front line, would mean moving towards disintegration and collapse of the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist. The Iranian regime's interventionist policy has continued from the Iran-Iraq war planning and Khomeini's eight-year insistence on continuing it to Khamenei's current wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon. This is being achieved by the Qods Force and the Revolutionary Guard Corps using the Basij force and parts of the army and paramilitaries hired from Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

The allocation of Khamenei's Beit propaganda and cultural institutions at a high cost highlights the vital need for the Islamic Jurist’s regime to export terrorism. 

In present Iraq, we face a government that is completely under the influence of the mullahs, with the security unions under the control of Qods terrorist forces. Iraq is practically occupied by the mullahs.

The vast costs and investment in nuclear weapons are, first and foremost, the supreme leader's backing to continue with terrorism, fundamentalism and to keep the control over the region. The eviction of the Iranian regime from Iraq would end the rule of the supreme leader, and the geopolitical engine would be re-used for establishing order.


Compensation for nuclear retreat

The events of the last few years are clear evidence of Khamenei's efforts in this direction and show that the Velayat-e Faqih regime has increased its efforts to pursue the reactionary and fundamentalist policy to offset nuclear retreat by advancing with regional interventions. In practice, however, it has had to face setbacks and extensive casualties due to the absence of a dominant appeasement policy. In Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Khamenei is engaged with a cureless crisis with anti-people wars outside Iran's borders, and political events in Syria, Iraq and other countries in the region indicate a strategic impasse for the regime.



Figure 1Hadi al-Ameri, commander of the Badr  organization kisses Iranian leader Ali Khamenei's hand in a sign of respect and the loyalty


US occupation of Iraq, a gift for the regime

The occupation of Iraq by the US in 2003 was a gift to the Iranian regime. The truth is that the aftermaths of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, such as the dismantling of political and military foundations and even social structures within the country, were the opening doors for the creation and shaping of the Iranian regime during puppet governments, affiliated institutions and militias at that time in the country. 

The departure of the US troops in 2011 plunged Iraq into a deep political stalemate that turned into a confounded skein of confusion and violence. The clearing of the opposing forces to the regime, and in particular Sunnis, was a concealed blessing from the occupation aftermath to the withdrawal of US forces.

Nouri al-Maliki's removal from power in 2014 was a severe blow to the regime's base in Iraq. On the one hand, no one could take the position of al-Maliki, which was a submissive political man for Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, and on the other hand, the formation of an international coalition led by the United States as well as the start of the ISIS bombardment limited the scope of the regime's maneuver in Iraq.



Figure 2Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Terrorist Force Quds and Abu Mohandes, deputy commander of Hashd al-Shaabi


Expanding the Qods Terrorist Force in Iraq

The Iranian regime sought to compensate this vacuum by expanding the Qods Force and its affiliated militias under the pretext of fighting ISIS in Iraq to offset what it had lost with the fall of Maliki. In this regard, in Diyala Governorate, the regime practically replaced ISIS in areas where the group was strong. Without significant war, ISIS evacuated its dominated centers in favor of the Qods Force militias. Subsequently, paramilitaries affiliated with the Qods Force committed the most heinous crimes in the area and carried out a religious cleansing and genocide against the Sunnis. In Saladin, paramilitaries also superseded ISIS in many areas.


Expanding the axis of resistance to the Mediterranean Sea

The 2015 Nuclear Agreement provided the Iranian regime with a legitimate umbrella for intervention, and during that time the regime was able to give $ 150 billion released money and large sums from oil sales to Yemen. It also expanded its militia network for three years and the intervention took a greater scope. 

The appeasement policy that has been applied since then, has dramatically assisted the Iranian regime in the pursue of interventionist policies, and this has been in sharp conflict with the US interests in the region. But the regime was unwilling to give up its interventionist policy. France's Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, traveled to Iran in 2017 while being the messenger of the US, to persuade the regime to stop interfering in other countries and to halt its ballistic missile program. Such request was rejected by the regime. 

America is getting out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, not dominating the appeasement policy

Following the Iranian regime's recalcitrance, the US decided to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which, according to President Rouhani, was encouraged by the popular uprising that took place in Iran in early 2018. Perhaps Trump found the regime too weak and frustrated after such social reaction was replicated in 160 cities shocking the regime and encouraging him to leave the Plan of Action. In such case, the appeasement policy was no longer reliable.

The popular uprising held in Iran in 2017, as well as the proliferation and expansion of resistance units inside Iran, blocked the way for the Iranian regime to maneuver within negotiations with the US. When the appeasement policy failed to materialize, the regime found the intervention to other countries more expensive than ever. Institutionalized corruption and endless embezzlement warned the end of the Iranian regime's strategic capacities and promised some kind of hopelessness. The Iranian regime has weakened noticeably. The regime is declining day after day in Syria, which represents its bargaining chip in the international relations. 


Three sides of the Iraqi uprising goal triangle 

Kharrazi's Iranian diplomacy site published that the Iraqi uprising had targeted three the sides of a triangle: the Islamic Republic, Hashed al-Shaabi and religious references. The religious references are those institutions created by the Iranian regime over the last two decades. About the uprising in Iraq, the regime's national television said: “There has been a widespread advertisement campaign to infiltrate these demonstrations, such as the well-planned massacres against the popular mobilization forces that we saw in the southern provinces (al-Hashd al-Shaabi) (…) Now we are seeing influential people targeting the same groups that have advocated and obeyed the religious authority over the last few years”. (Subtitle: Regime’s television, Oct 26).

The religious umbrella that the Iranian regime sought to provide for all its interventions in Iraq has been attacked at once by a generation that has not even seen Saddam Hussein but has planned to revolt against Islamic fundamentalism.


American sedition

The Iranian regime has always linked the Iraqi uprising to foreign powers, mainly the US and Saudi Arabia, and also with the 2009 or 2017 "sedition" in Iran.

Mullah Saeedi, Friday prayer leader in Qom, stated that the only way to contain the Iraqi uprising, which he called "American sedition", was to take the US embassy in Baghdad. Shariatmadari, head of Kayhan Newspaper and theoretician near Khamenei, asked Iraqi insurgents to seize the US embassy in Baghdad twice. In response to this demand, however, insurgents attempted in recent days to capture the regime's embassy in Baghdad, which was hit by bullets from regime mercenaries.

But the Iranian state-run newspaper mocked the claim that the uprising was made by the United States and Saudi Arabia, and added: "At least, the Iraqis do not attribute their country's disasters to 'Shiite British influence' and 'seduction of the US Embassy". 

The newspaper then wrote about the anger of the people who were heading towards the green zone to seize the Iranian embassy and all the government institutions and are willing to pay the price for their goals. "People who had seen 300 killed and over 11,000 wounded in the past few months and are still heading towards the Green Zone, setting fire to ministerial and governmental buildings, have devastating will and anger, and they don't get out of the house with a few Saudi and Israeli tweets". 

Iranian security expert, Abdullah Shahbazi, warned the regime about the common ground of the uprising in Lebanon and Iraq with Iran incidents: “You shouldn't have a fancy idea. You have to be very vigilant and think carefully. The density of corruption and dissatisfaction, which in some cases is deliberate and in other is insipience, suddenly reached a point where it cannot be controlled”. 

While acknowledging widespread corruption, the expert attributed the uprising to the enemies of the system, as usual: “The situation in the region is sensitive. It seems that they have the same plans for Iran, like Iraq and Lebanon. They do not want to let the Resistance Front's victory in the region achieve the results we wish".




Mahdi Mohammadi, the regime security expert, expressed more explicitly his concern about the impact of the Iranian people uprisings to other countries in the region and the particular role of the regime’s sworn enemies, the MKO, and wrote: “In Iraq and Lebanon, we are seeing revised versions of the 2009 sedition and the January 2017 riots in Iran. The action pattern in the organized part of Iraq is very close to the MKO's methods. These statements show that what has been targeted in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran is the heart of the religious fundamentalism propagated by the Iranian regime. 

Was the coincidence between the Iraq and Lebanon uprisings accidental?

(Fact from a regime newspaper that said we became lower in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon)

The uprisings of Lebanon and Iraq have undoubtedly been influenced by each other, but such coincidence can be explained by several factors:

- The lack of dominance in the appeasement policy would have made the Iranian regime to pay a higher price for its interventions. While the regime has become much weaker following sanctions and no longer able to fund paramilitaries and other affiliated groups in the region, like in the past. This weakness can also be seen in the fall within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

- The development of an anti-fundamentalist front against the Iranian regime, especially after the Saudi oil facilities attack that brought Europeans closer to the United States.


First round: the Shiites 

The uprising began in the central and southern Shiite cities. The Shiites, that once were related to the Iranian regime, are now its toughest enemies. This event took place in the holy city of Karbala, which has been one of the Iranian hunting-ground until now, and where the regime has invested heavily. 

The burning of the regime's consulate in Karbala proves that the first aim protest was to oust the regime from Iraq. It is said that officers linked to the regime in those areas had installed a strong corruption, which resulted in a poor infrastructure development. That is why the uprising began in the Shiite areas, while the Sunnis were less present because of the brutal repression they had suffered, which forced them to migrate.


Second round: a failed repression

(Khamenei talks that he considered restraining the uprising as the treatment)

As the uprising spread between different social classes, Khamenei's plans to establish "safety" were failing. The anger and hatred of the regime seemed to have engulfed the whole society. 

The joining of workers, physicians and health professionals, students, which are the sign of the being epidemic, and the scenes of people helping to each other that are exemplary and represent a nation that stands against an external enemy. The spread of the uprising among different classes and the destruction of sectarian and religious divisions are the product of the popular unity to the mullahs' regime.

The situation was the same in Lebanon, where people joined against the regime regardless ethnic and religious differences, forcing it to go backwards.

Qasem Soleimani went to Iraq to restore security, aiming to have a meeting for these purposes instead of the visit to Adil Abdul Mahdi. But the rise of this revolution after Khamenei's words has become a sign of the regime's failure to contain the uprising, and this reflects its deep collapse.


Why Shiites are at the forefront?

The uprising is more significant in Shiite cities, and especially in Karbala and Najaf, two holy cities that the regime had considered its guard, perhaps because the traditional Sunni community had already disintegrated. 

But, will the regime be able to repress Iraq and Lebanon using the same methods as with Iran?

In Iraq, the regime does not have absolute sovereignty (like in Iran) and this disables it to repeat the same suppression as of Iran in 2009. Although it is doing its best, it has not been successful so far.

If the uprising of the Iraqi people was against a foreign enemy that has occupied their country, history shows that the occupier government has never succeeded. “The critical situation in Lebanon and Iraq could create a breathing space for terrorists there and those in Syria, whose main purpose would be to threaten Iran's national security”. Clearly, the “terrorists” here are fighters and revolutionaries.



Figure 3Qasem Soleimani, commander of the terrorist Quds Force, and Hadi Ameri, former Iraqi Minister of Transport and commander of the Badr organization, affiliated to Iranian regime


The Iraqi uprising is not going to stop

According to the reports, at numerous meetings held on Saturday, November 9, major Iraqi groups and parties and Iraqi political parties agreed to continue the government of Adil Abdul-Mahdi. They also discussed the need for reforms and the end of the protests.

Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, attended the meetings and negotiated with Ayatollah Sistani's son and Muqtada al-Sadr gaining their support for Abdul-Mahdi's government. According to the same reports, after receiving this backing, Iraqi political parties concluded that the current government must stop the protests by any means.

On the same day, Mr. Sistani's office stated: "Iraq's religious authority has not been a party or a partner in any agreement to support the current government and quell the protests". However, while the news of the "Agreement" came about, Iraqi security forces managed to regain control of three major Baghdad bridges closed by insurgents in the early hours of Saturday. 

It seemed that the regime had been able to unite the various parties and groups affiliated with it behind the current government through Qasem Soleimani to defeat the uprising. Internet disconnection, direct shots at demonstrators, both in Baghdad and in Basra and mass deaths and injuries, showed the same. But the protestors did not leave the field and confronted the security forces. 

The result was that with the presence of millions of people in Tahrir Square and the surrounding streets on Saturday and Sunday on the one hand, and constant attack to repressive forces and government buildings by using Molotov cocktails on the other, the protestors succeeded in pushing back the security forces, and they got to recapture the three main bridges that link the two parts of Baghdad by Monday.  




A page has turned in the Iraqi uprising book

After the repression failed and the table set by the regime with the leadership of Qasem Soleimani was overthrown, President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Iraqi Parliament Head, Mohamed al-Halbousi, held a meeting on Sunday night (November 10) at president’s home, to announce their opposition to ending the protests with repression. Then, the train of political upheavals slipped on another track.

Subsequently, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission, Jeanine Hennis, met with Ayatollah Sistani in Najaf. After that, Hennis said that Mr. Sistani would endure radical reforms in Iraq. After insisting that Iraqi governors are not serious about change, Sistani said that demonstrators would not leave the streets until their demands were met.


Crossing a point of no return

On Wednesday and Thursday, November 27 and 28, there was a point of no return in the Iraqi uprising; On Wednesday night, the Najaf people seized the regime's consulate in the city and fired it up. The regime's consulate in the holy city of Najaf and the center of Shia's millennium authority were symbols of the influence and occupation of Iraq by Iran's religious fascism under the cover of Shiite religion. 

Shiite followers in Iraq constitute the majority, and the Mullahs' regime claims to be the guardian of all Shiites in the world, especially those in Iraq. The Iranian regime had exerted its influence in the area covered by the Shiite axis of resistance. It has made great efforts to prevent the consulate from being invaded and destroyed and has urged the Iraqi government to take decisive action this regard. Since then, Puppet government's oppressive forces opened fire and killed 28 people, but failed to prevent the invasion of the people who were determined to overthrow the occupation symbol of their country by the mullahs' regime, and eventually accomplished their goal to collapse of the strategic depth of the Velayat-e Faqih regime in Iraq and across the region.


The regime's attempts to deflect Iraq's uprising

The regime has made many efforts to maintain its consulate; for example, trying to find a pretext for suppression and killing, deflecting resources to another path with the excuse of defending religious authority, gossiping about the possibility of attacking the authorities' houses, executing a scenario similar to the Al-Askari Shrine explosion in Samarra and organizing a fictitious attack on Mr. Sistani's home. 

In this regard, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a well-known member of the Qods Force of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said: "He will cut off the hands of anyone who wants to attack Ayatollah Sistani". However, demonstrators have never attacked or even threatened Mr. Sistani. Meanwhile, Mr. Sistani’s representative, referring to news or rumors that a troop has moved from Baghdad to Najaf for the so-called protection of religious authority, said: "Those words, if meaningful, indicate their great ignorance on the current state of Najaf Ashraf; otherwise this is a deliberate move to target the supreme religious authority and the intention to target it with such news and rumors”. Mr. Sistani's office also warned in an intelligent positioning that Mr. Sistani did not need protection but required to fulfill people's demands and asked government officers not to roll out doing so.

At the same time as Najaf, there was a full-scale war between the protesters and the repressive forces, mainly commanded by the Mullahs' regime and the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards in Nasiriyah (another Shiite Iraqi city). The rebel youths overthrew suppressive troops led by Lieutenant General Jamil Shamari and took control of the town at the expense of 40 martyrs and more than three hundred wounded. According to some observers, it was after the failure in consulate protection that the Iranian regime carried out the massacre in Nasiriyah.

Jamil Shamari, formerly enforcer of the Qasem Soleimani's scenario of the massacre of Iranian dissidents stationed near Baghdad on September 1, 2013, had been promoted following the killings, becoming first major general and then lieutenant general. After the killing of Nasiriyah, the Iraqi Prime Minister dismissed Lieutenant General Jamil Shamari, which was considered as a victory for the uprising of the Iraqi people.

Is there a close correlation between recent events in rebel cities of Iran and Iraq? Some Western analysts have outlined the events taking place in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon as a single battle against the same enemy, and that the uprisings taking place in the three countries have described the formation of a front against the Islamic fundamentalism of the Iranian regime.

Didn’t Khamenei's (Iran's Supreme Leader) comments at the meeting with the Basij militia (on December 27) confirm this from another perspective? While he attributed the uprising of people in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon to arrogant conceit, as usual, he said: "Basij in Iran or other instances in some countries are more susceptible to the domination system than others. As it is opposed to Hashd al-Sha'abi in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon".

According to the French newspaper Le Monde, the attack on the Iranian consulate is a point of no return in the cutting of the mullahs and Qods Force's hand in Iraq. And this is also a great victory for the anti-fundamentalist front, the Iran and Lebanon people.

Iraqi Prime Minister's resignation and celebration in Iraq

The former Iraqi prime minister's resignation occurred after Ayatollah Sistani's statement, which became a confirmation of the Iraqi people's victory in the ouster of the Iranian regime. Ayatollah Sistani had stated that the government had to resign because it was ineffective and failed to perform its duties.


Conclusion

The continuity of the uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon has raised the alarm for the Iranian regime. Some analysts close to it believe that the regime's arms are being cut in Iraq and Lebanon, meaning that the it must fight in the streets of Tehran from now on, not Syria, Iraq or Lebanon.

Mullahs ruling Tehran have explicitly said that Syria is our thirty-fifth province, when Iran has only thirty-one provinces. The thirty-second province is probably Iraq, the thirty-third is Lebanon and thirty-fourth is Palestine. 

Regime's officers say that if we lose Syria, Tehran will be lost too, which represents a clear confession. So, the fight is over Tehran and mullahs see it highly vulnerable against the Iranian people's uprising and resistance.


https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G98kPcDkn4E6TjY1xwrsjUThSeKITaZk/view



(very interesting clip
of AbouMohandes with translation
)

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