The Iranian incursion and non-stop Conflicts ( 1-3 )


The international relations literatures define the “Rogue State” as the one who creates nonstop conflicts with neighboring countries. It is dominated by a totalitarian regime that adopts illegitimate tools to expand and intervene in the affairs of those countries and devote the riches of its people for the sake of building its virtual empire to dominate the region rather than spending that money on development. The Islamic republic of Iran is a good example of this form of government. It took Sectarianism, Spying, and supporting its loyalists in the region as tools of creating a state of “nonstop conflicts” in these countries to divide and dominate them to accomplish its historical dreams in re-building its great Persian empire “The Shiite Crescent”, even at the expense of its own people and neighbors. Iran is using the dramatic changes and political unrest that the regional and world orders are witnessing such as the Arab spring.
The same literatures also point out that those nonstop conflicts grow gradually and last long when any international entity politicizes the components of another through some illegal tools in order to create a state of unrest and domestic crisis, then escalating it until it turns into a conflict, which is in reality, a struggle of existence. This type of conflict takes the shape of “The zero-sum game”, which means that one side’s loss of a point is balanced with the loss of a point by another side, and then takes the shape of a solid- state conflict with no signs of political flexibility, which might finally lead to the breakdown of the country and fall in bloody sectarian conflicts, and loss of its right to self-determination, which finally, turns this country into a safe shelter for terrorists. This appears clearly in Iran’s behavior in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and other regional countries since the revolution of 1979. After his return from exile, Khomeini stated that starting from that time, the Arabs had to get used to the Persian rule, which has resulted in constant imperialism and threat of Iran toward the Arab National Security. In light of this, we will, through a subsequent series, handle not only the Iranian interference in the affairs of its neighboring countries, but also the “Regional Conditions” and the Iranian sphere of influence, starting with Iraq, and how it changed from a strong and unitary, into a failure country flooded with non-stop sectarian conflicts and violence. This has resulted from the establishment of the Iranian old strategy that was based on the Shiite expansion when the Mullah regime took over at the beginning of the 1980s until the emergence of its new strategy at the beginning of the new millennium, which relies on the domination of the international water routes and gaining new spheres of influence to use them as means of exerting pressure. So the future of those countries influenced by the Iranian evil and the possibilities of confronting this evil on the long and short terms to stop and limit its role is very critical especially after revealing the American-Iranian relations and taking turns after signing the nuclear agreement with the 5+1 group (the US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany).

» Episode One (1-1) the Iraqi Scene Until mid of 2016

8WNOEYMGThe invasion of Iraq and the turnover of Saddam Hussein’s regime in May 2003 gave Iran a golden opportunity to implement its sectarian plans in Iraq. The American occupation of Iraq allowed Iran to expand its influence until it has become the major player in Iraq and its internal affairs more that direct occupation. Iran relied on two basic circumstances: the first is handing over power to the Iraqis during the transitional period on the sectarian quota basis. The second is the Iraqi elections at which Iran used one of its most vital tools in Iraq which are the Shiite armed militia; knowing that the Iranian intelligence and secret service are familiar with the political and sectarian trends in Iraq after the eight-year war between the two countries. The evidence is that the US negotiated the future of Iraq with Iran in light of the confrontation between the two countries over the Iranian nuclear program; which means that the US was unable to limit the Iranian influence in Iraq. This gave Iran the opportunity to use this situation and support the Shiite government through recognizing and building strong relations with them which have turned Iraq into a sphere of influence of Iran. Iran continued what the US had started off the sectarian quota system which is producing a crisis after another. Iran now is able to implement its electoral strategies in Iraq through controlling the Iraqi electoral process using its Iraqi allies and the exclusion of the former Baath members from the Iraqi political scene. The Iranian role grew after elections to become a major player in forming the all Iraqi governments. In other words, those governments come from Iraqi origins but by Iranian decisions. All Iraqi reconstruction process went through the Iranian views and plans by resolving the Iraqi army and writing the constitution with no reference to the Iraqi belonging to the Arab nation except by saying: “The Arab people in Iraq are part of the Arab nation”, and finally, excluding the Sunni leaders from the political structure.
In addition to that, foreign affairs were not away from the Iranian interference. Iran objected the security treaty between Iraq and the US concerning the US forces role and its withdrawal from Iraq. This made the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Malki go to Tehran to comfort the Iranian regime and made allegiance that the final agreement would prohibit the launch of any offensive action against Iran from Iraq. On the other hand, Iran made use of the IS domination of large territories of Iraq which led to the convergence of interests between the US and Iran to eliminate this group in light of the Iraqi army inability to confront this organization without the assistance of the Iranian loyalists, the Popular Mobilization Forces, which was openly acknowledged by the Iraqi minister of defense Khaled Al-Obeidi. Based on that, Washington had disregarded the Iranian presence in Iraq which can be considered occupation and included:
Finance, train, and support the Shiite armed militias. This includes Badr corps and the popular mobilization forces that are participating in the war against IS in Iraq. These forces, in cooperation with the Mahdi army led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, committed war crimes against the Iraqi Sunnis in the territories liberated from the IS. There are other Shiite militias loyal to Iran such as Al Dawa Party, the Higher Council for the Islamic revolution, Badr forces, Ahl Alhaq militia, and the Iraqi Hezbollah.
Providing military support such as transferring counselors and soldiers to the inside of Iraq. This was confirmed by the Iranian ground forces commander when he acknowledged at the beginning of 2016 that there is Iranian military personnel deployed to Iraq in coordination with the Iraqi government in order to confront the IS. In addition to that, defense committee in the Iraqi parliament confirmed in 2015 having documents that prove the presence of at least thirty thousand Iranian soldiers in Iraq. The prominent Iraqi politician, Adnan Al-Bajeji assured, on 6/16/2016 that Tehran is directing the military and semi-military agencies and plans their mobility on the Iraqi ground. On the other hand, former Iraqi minister for foreign affairs praised the protests that call for eliminating the Iranian interference in Iraq. This support was also evident through the events on the ground. High ranking officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed in Iraq such as General Hamid Taqawi and Sadiq Yari.
Sectarian propaganda and social security campaigns carried out by the Iranian charitable organizations. This appears through assisting poor people and those who suffer the consequences of the instability of Iraq. Those organizations also contribute to the reconstruction of the Shiite holy places, dispatching medical teams, and delegating Iranian clergy that comes from “Ahl Al-Bait World Assembly”.

» The Iranian Ambitions in Iraq

20-1024x760The Iranian strategic interests in Iraq are not confined to an organized and systematic attempt to form the “New Iraq” with certain characteristics and components that guarantee those interests. It is just the beginning to implement its destructive plans that can come about, according to the decision makers in Iran, only by the occupation of Iraq. The starting point to understand Iran’s role must be a proper assessment of its interests. These are relatively clear and for the most part, openly acknowledged. So the Iranian occupation of Iraq comes out of three reasons:
1-Preventing Iraq from re-emerging as a threat in order to accomplish its Safavid project to dominate the region by adopting a complex strategy that consists of A. Encouraging electoral democracy as a means of producing Shiite rule. B. Promoting a degree of controllable disorder. C. Investing in a wide range of Iraqi Shiite activists to guarantee the Iranian control of the situation.
2-Targeting the Sunni sect in Iraq and eliminating any Sunni influence or political role in the future of Iraq and the region. Another strategy is terrifying all Sunnis in the region to confront Iran and its regional ambitions. These integrating goals can be best achieved through the Iranian direct or indirect occupation of Iraq.
3-Denying the establishment of an independent Kurdish home country since that would encourage the Iranian Kurds to seek independence. At the same, Iran doesn’t want to appear as an opponent to the Kurdish ambitions for independence and autonomy in Iraq. In order not to contradict what it has been promoting in its constitution to support the weak against the tyrannical powers in the world. This also can’t happen except by the occupation of Iraq. Another important strategic interest for Tehran is the Iraqi oil. It believes that supporting the Shiite to control the southern oil would finally allow Iran to control its production and pricing even in an indirect way same as the Kurds, who took control of their own oil. By achieving this goal, they would deprive the Sunnis of the Iraqi national resources, which is considered from the Iranian point of view, a big retaliation from this rival sect.

» The current Iraqi conditions, a divided country and continuation of conflicts
Although the US is the direct occupier of Iraq, Iran is considered the real occupier of this country through the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Jerusalem Army, and the Shiite agents who are loyal to Iran more than to Iraq, their homeland country. Simply, the ongoing bloody sectarian conflicts in Iraq led to a divided and torn out the country in the absence of a strong national army that would protect Iraq and maintain its unity rather than dividing it into smaller sectarian entities; Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish; in addition to maintaining its Arab belonging. Following are the most important continuing conflicts that contribute to Iraq segmentation:

» On the Security level
1-The ISIS occupation of certain vital Iraqi cities. This organization has benefited from the state of disorder and weakness of the governmental organizations and army as a result of the consequent crises and the IS claims of the tyrannical Shiite practices against the Sunnis, leading to the invasion of important cities like Mosul, Fallujah, Anbar, Ninawa, Kirkuk, Salah Al-Din, and significant parts of Dayali for more than two years.
2-The absence of a strong national army that represents the Iraqi unity. The Iranian plan for Iraq is obvious in this concern. It is to replace the national army by the Revolutionary Guards Corps on the Iranian way. The backbone of these corps is the Popular Mobilization Militias as the striking forces in Iraq. The critical point here is that these militias are being prepared and trained on ideological and sectarian bases against the other Iraqi sects; this has led to nonstop sectarian and ideological civil war and has vanished the Iraqi national sovereignty.
3-The transformation of Iraq into a shelter and a point of gathering for terrorists from all regional countries. Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as a training center for the terrorist generation to come. Those returning back from Iraq will also replace what was called the Afghani Arabs. With the growing instability after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the exclusion of Sunnis, hundreds of fighters have flowed into Iraq across the open borders and found tremendous amounts of unmonitored weapons. Conflicts in this country helped terrorists find a better shelter and enlisting ground in the middle of war and chaos. Consequently, Iraq has become the best place for training and improving their tactical experiences.
4-Hundreds of thousands of casualties, dead, wounded, and refugees. As a result of the growing violence in various forms, the security issue has taken two dimensions recently: The first one is that the Iraqi and Popular Mobilization Forces expanded their operations to the Sunni triangle cities as an excuse to crush what they call rebellion and terrorist groups, and subdue them to the governmental rule, which has led to severe humanitarian crises and the fall of hundreds of thousands of casualties. The second is launching violent attacks by the armed groups against Iraqi civilians and security forces, leading to the destruction of the infrastructure and thousands of houses, in addition to thousands of refugees.

» On the Political Level
1-The breakdown of the united Iraq into three divided entities. The American-Iranian alliance has turned Iraq into a divided and torn out the country. Americans started the partition of Iraq at the beginning of the nineties of last century through supporting the Kurds. Now, Iran is following the same steps and dividing the remaining parts of this country. Nobody now talks about a united Iraq as before. The trend now is to carry out a demographic segmentation to create pure ethnic and sectarian groups which mean the continuation of civil war and bloodshed in Iraq.
2-The bloody conflicts between the Iraqi components. It is clear that this country is witnessing an advanced level of ethnic and sectarian conflicts that might lead to its breakdown and fall. Based on that, some observers acknowledge the disastrous situation and epidemic lawlessness in Iraq. Kidnapping and killing are now prevalent for either economic reasons such as ransom payment, or political ones such as exerting pressure on the government, or force foreigners who work in Iraq, either for the military or reconstruction companies to leave the country.

» On the Economic Level
The continuation of the cycle of the impoverishment of Iraq was started by Americans in 2003. Iran is now following the same strategy by looting the Iraqi wealth and resources through corrupt Iraqi and Iranian figures. Iraq was considered one of the wealthiest Arab countries in natural resources, but today, its people suffer poverty and hunger. The international studies show that Iraq is occupying the first rank in corruption and despoilment.

» The future of the Iranian role in Iraq
Iraq occupies an important position in the Iranian strategy in the region not only on the political level but also on the religious one. Iran doesn’t want to miss any opportunity in Iraq whether now or in the future. The current events in the region make Iran give Iraq more attention. The IS control of big parts of Iraq confirmed the importance of this country to Iran on security level since it played a major role in preventing the dangers of this organization away from Iran. Iran also is a main player in the Syrian crisis, even though; it couldn’t have settled the war after five years of all kinds of support to Bashar Al-Assad. The fall of oil prices and the Yemeni crisis are all indicators about the continuation of the Iranian imperialism in Iraq. Consequently, the continuation of the Iranian sectarian policy in Iraq would lead to a state of nonstop conflicts for a long period of time. As a result, the ISIS use of the tribal rebellion against the sectarian policies of Al-Malki who crushed those demonstrations might happen again. What raises fears of an “Iranian future to come” is that Iraq could become a launch point for Iran against other countries, which is evident in the Iranian aggressive practices in the region such as Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

( In the next episode, we will handle the Syrian scene ) ( 2-3)

Editorial Team