Iranian Retaliation against Iraq

https://rasanah-iiis.org/english/?p=235

ByMohammed Alsulami

The Iranian strategic objective is to dominate Iraq and block all means of progress and development in the country. Their ultimate goal is to turn it into a failure state and take control of all its capabilities.
Iraq has been a major concern for the Iranians before and after the revolution. This concern was consolidated more because of the eight-year war between the two countries (1980-1988). Consequently, the Iranian regime launched an aggressive policy against Iraq and aimed at eliminating, what they consider, an Arab political and security threat. However, Iran couldn’t eradicate or surpass it without foreign assistance. It sought its lost treasure after 9/11 events when the United States made a decision to step down the two regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime and the US withdrawal from Iraq, this Arab country was handed out on a silver plate to its historical arch-enemy. Hence, the Iranian retaliation stage against Iraq and Iraqi people began through a strategic plan drawn by politicians of Tehran and implemented by some Iraqi figures.
The Iranian attempts to dominate Iraq didn’t confine to the political side, but included military, economic, commercial and educational aspects.
On the economic and commercial levels, Iran turned Iraq into a huge market for its low- quality products that don’t meet any standards and can’t be sold in its local markets. In addition, Iran and its Iraqi loyalists launched a big campaign to boycott Arab and Gulf products in the Iraqi markets. Indeed, Iran is looting the riches of Iraq and taking control of all of its aspects of life.
Militarily, the Iranian regime took advantage of the dissolution of the former Iraqi army. They participated actively in the re-formation of the new army on a sectarian basis, thus, manipulating with the most critical component of the Iraqi society. What was worse is the formation of the People’s Mobilization Militias as an Iraqi copy of the Iranian Basij forces. The rationale behind that was building an ideological Iranian foundation full of sectarian hatred and anger to be the vital springboard for its activities and tasks commenced by the Tehran administration. In addition to that, the Iranian regime expanded its borders for 40 kilometers inside the Iraqi boarders under the umbrella of confronting ISIS and the terrorist groups. The question is how can the Iraqis accept this violation of their sovereignty while Iran is occupying parts of their homeland?
On another level, Iran took advantage of the security vacuum that Iraq experienced after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime and targeted the intellectual, scientific and educational elite through direct and indirect physical homicide. Few of those succeeded to run away, leading to a big loss for the country at a time their homeland is in need for them. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Iraqi people are suffering illiteracy although, one day before; they celebrated eradicating it completely.
On the national and historical level, we find members of the Revolutionary Guards patrolling the Iraqi cities all day long, which is a message to the Iraqi people that even though we couldn’t have succeeded to gain any Iraqi territories during the 8-year war, we have achieved that fifteen years later. We also find Qassem Soleimani wandering in Iraq and promoting his personal Photos that were captured on purpose on the social media during his stay in Iraqi territories, especially Tikrit. He appears drinking tea with a smile on his face expressing ill intentions toward his opponents in Iraq that Iran longer dreams of only “Arab Shatt” but has even reached the Iraqi depth and to Tikrit in particular, the hometown city and burial place of Saddam Hussein. Moreover, the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s adviser, Ali Yonesi, stated that “Iran has become today the empire that was there throughout history and its capital is Baghdad; our historical civilization, culture, and identity Center.” Unfortunately, this applies to the Iraqi reality today.
The Iranian plan for Iraq aims to turn this country into a platform for its projects toward the other countries in the region, and to have a stand on the northern borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This cannot be achieved through conventional military occupation of Iraq, but by the domination of its government at all levels. It also aims at making Iraq flooded with domestic wars and conflicts in a society that was once a model of ethnic, religious and sectarian community. To be clear, the strategic goal for Iran is to continue occupying Iraq and turning it into a failure state with no means of rehabilitation including the right of self-determination and independence. Therefore, the Iranian regime and its loyalists in Iraq are targeting anyone tries to highlight the Iranian threat toward this country and unmask the Iranian sectarian trend through death and destruction Militias. The big question remains: Will the Iraqis be able to eliminate the Iranian domination of their country and rebuild Iraq, and preserve their historical role they deserve among nations? Only Iraqi people who love their country and look for independence and freedom can answer this question.

Translated Article: Alwatan Newspaper

Mohammed Alsulami
Mohammed Alsulami
Head of Rasanah: International Institute for Iranian Studies