22 January 2020
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Khamenei’s Strategic Deadlock in Iraq

Tuesday, 07 January 2020 04:27

After the protests on the streets of Beirut and Baghdad reached Tehran, the strategic depth of the Iranian regime is seeing its end.

Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, to rescue its strategic plans, tried to reassemble his forces in Iraq and to end the uprising with a conspiracy, but this time the situation was different.

The popular protests in Iraq began on 1 October 2019. Their purpose was to protest 16 years of corruption, unemployment and inadequate public services and the call for the overthrow of the Iraqi government and to stop the intervention of the Velayat-e Faqih regime (Iran’s form of clerical rule) in Iraq.

On 3 November, Iraqi protesters in Najaf changed the name of the main street leading to the city's international airport from Khomeini Street to "Martyrs of Tashrin Revolution / October". This clearly aroused the wrath of the Iranian regime.

On several occasions, Iraqis attacked the Iranian regime consulates in various cities, including Karbala and Najaf, but the turning point was the burning of the consulate in Najaf.

Logically the protests in Iraq and Lebanon against the policies of the Iranian regime have reached the streets of Iran. The leaders of the Iranian regime have repeatedly said that if they do not line up in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq, they would fight in Tehran. Now that Iraq and Lebanon have risen against the regime of the Velayat-e Faqih, it was inevitable that the blow of the uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon would reach Iran based on the law of the situation in the Middle East and the historical relation between these counties.

In November, following a rise in gasoline prices in Iran, a massive uprising broke out and went on to disrupt the Iranian regime. Khamenei inevitably ordered a massacre. Some 1500 Iranians were killed in two days. Khamenei found out that his strategy has lost its effects and that he would have to close the front line in Tehran if it does not stifle the uprising in Lebanon and Iraq. In Iraq, things were worse for Khamenei, and Iraq had to be determined first.

Khamenei sent his forces to Iraq with fear. Threat, killing, assassination of the activists of the Iraqi People's movement did not have the desired effect so he was forced to continue it.

Iraqi security forces launched a bloody crackdown on the cities of Najaf and Nasiriyah on 28 November and opened fire on protesters and killed 44 people. But the Iraqi people's demonstrations were not extinguishable.

Following the incident, with the message of Iraq’s Ayatollah Sistani, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was forced to resign. Fear of this resignation embraced Khamenei.

The protests continued despite Abdul Mahdi's resignation, while people blocking roads and rallying in Baghdad and several other cities, insisting that the protests would continue until the complete fall of the Iraqi government, with the motto "abandoning and prosecuting all corrupted people in the government".

Protesters in Iraq set fire to the entrance to the tomb of Muhammad Baqir Hakim, who was part of the Iranian regime’s proxy groups in Iraq.

On 6 December, a militia affiliated with the Iranian regime, Asayeb Ahl al-Haq, opened fire on protesters in Baghdad's Khalani Square, killing 19 people and injuring several others.

Also, on this day, the US Treasury Department sanctioned militant leaders backed by Khamenei, including Qais Khazali, his brother Laith Khazali, Hussein Faleh al-Lami, a Hashed al-Shabi commander, and Aziz Al-Lami who killed innocent Iraqi people.

A large rally was held in Baghdad's Tahrir Square on 8 December. Iraqis declared in Tahrir Square: "They want to scare people, but we are staying in Tahrir Square and our numbers are increasing. The demonstration will continue until the fall of the regime."

On 10 December, Iraqi protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad. The Iraqi government shut down the Jomhuri bridge to focus on the Tahrir Square leading to the Green Zone so that the protesters would not enter the Green Zone. On this day, residents of the southern Iraqi provinces also went to Baghdad for demonstrations.

Following the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Abdul Mehdi, Khamenei who did not understand the message of the Iraqi people's uprising tried to impose another candidate to follow his interests in Iraq. But the Iraqis stood in the street and said no to Khamenei.

Several candidates have been introduced to the Iraqi President Barham Saleh by the Iranian regime puppets in Iraq as a replacement for Abdul Mehdi: Mohammad Shia Sudani, Qassi al-Soheyl and Asad al-Eidani. But the Iraqi protesters identified all of them as agents of the Iranian regime and refused to accept them.

On 13 December, a large protest rally was held in several Iraqi provinces in opposition to the election of Hizb al-Dawa's leader, Mohammed Shi'a Sudani, as Adil Abdul Mehdi's successor.

On 15 December, a supporter of anti-government demonstrators, Mohammed al-Dujaili, was shot dead in Baghdad's Tahrir Square by Iranian regime assassination forces.

This increased the anger of Iraqi protesters who announced a general strike on 21 December, in al-Diwaniyah and Basra and blocked roads and government buildings entrances in southern Iraq the following day.

On 24 December, a new wave of protests and demonstrations erupted in Iraq, and people filled the Tahrir Square as they held large photos of government-nominated candidates for prime minister with cross over it.

Protesters in southern Iraq also blocked major roads, schools, universities, and offices. They demanded an independent prime minister and government and put Iraqi officials in a desperate position who were under the pressure of the Iranian regime parties in Iraq.

On 26 December, Iraqi President Barham Saleh rejected the nomination of an Iranian-backed coalition candidate for the post of prime minister and cabinet. Assad al- Eidani was a candidate for prime minister of the Al-Banna coalition, comprising both the Fatah coalition and the State of Law Coalition led by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Saleh refused to accept him to prevent further bloodshed and bring peace to Iraq.

After rejecting the nomination of Assad al-Eidani, Barham Saleh submitted his resignation to the Iraqi parliament.

In Statement 158 on 27 December, the October Revolution Demonstration Committee said: "The demonstrators will not nominate a candidate for prime minister until the dissolution of parliament. A parliament whose members have become members of the parliament with the deception and dominance of the Iranian regime."

On 28 December, Iraqi protesters closed the Nasiriyah oil facilities in the south of the country by cutting the electricity and gathering in front of the oil facilities.

On 28 December, the Iraqi Human Rights Commission announced that three months after protests in Baghdad and the south of the country, at least 490 were killed and 22,000 wounded, including 33 protest organizers were targeted directly by Iranian militias.

The Associated Press reported on 28 December, Faisal Abdullah, member of the commission, said that 33 of the killed were activists, who were clearly targeted and assassinated.

Khamenei found that the Iraqi people could no longer be deceived by these plots. So, the plan had to be changed and the Iraq issue should be changed from the uprising of the Iraqi people against the puppet Khamenei's opposition to hatred American.

Khamenei had tried this way once in the early days of the second Iraqi war, and this time he had the same plan, to threaten and provoke the United States in Iraq, and in the event of a possible US military response to those threats in Iraq, to embark on a wave of Iraqi people's emotions and to counter the Iraqi’s protests while rising the people of the Iraq against the presence in this country.

Khamenei's mistake was here. Khamenei did not know that when the waves of the uprising reached Iran, a larger and more rebellious Iraq would turn against him.

On 28 December, a US civilian contractor was killed in a missile attack by the Iranian-backed militias on the K1 military base near Kirkuk, Iraq.

On 29 December, in response to Khamenei’s mercenaries in Iraq, US forces launched an attack on these forces. During the raids, 41 IRGCs soldiers and 25 of the Iranian regime’s mercenaries were killed. Khamenei had succeeded so far and was ready for the next step.

Iranian militias in Iraq attacked the US embassy in Iraq on 31 December and destroyed parts of it. The attackers came in front of the US embassy with the flags of Hashed al-Shaabi, Asaeb-Ahl-Haq, and Kataeb Hezbollah. Hadi Ameri, Qais Khazali, Fatih al-Fayyad, and Abu Mahdi Muhandes were among the attackers at the US embassy.

US President Donald Trump accused the Iranian regime of organizing the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad and warned that Iran will be held accountable for this action.

The protesters withdrew from the US Embassy in Baghdad on 1 January following a threat from the US and pressure on the Iraqi government.

“.... Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning; it is a Threat. Happy New Year!" US President Donald Trump said on 31 December, in his response to the attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.

On 2 January, after attacking the US embassy in Baghdad, the Hezbollah of Iraq threatened Iraqi parliamentarians with the consequences if they did not approve a plan to expel US troops from Iraq.

Khamenei used the keyword "anti-American excitement in Baghdad and throughout Iraq" after the attack on the US embassy in Iraq and thought his plan would go well to quell the uprising.

Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi, a representative for the Sadr Movement, said on 1 January, "The protest in front of the US Embassy in Baghdad is to end the popular reformist demonstrations."

But the end of Khamenei's plan came on the night of 3 January. The poised wave of Khamenei returned bigger and more rebellious to himself.

In the early hours of 3 January, official Iraqi television reported that Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Iranian regime's IRGC Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi Mohandes, deputy of the Iranian-backed Hashed al-Sha'abi militia, were killed by a US drone attack near Baghdad Airport.

On that day, the US Department of Defense said in a statement: " At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

“General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. 

“This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.”

Khamenei's plan was completely revealed

Trump hit back and destroyed all of Khamenei’s plans and tweeted: “The people of Iraq don’t want to be dominated & controlled by Iran, but ultimately, that is their choice. Over the last 15 years, Iran has gained more....

“....and more control over Iraq, and the people of Iraq are not happy with that. It will never end well!”

With this failure, in addition to Iraqi people continuing to focus on the expulsion of the Iranian regime and dismantling Khamenei's political structure, the Iranian regime has entered a new phase of tension with the United States - escalating tension that will intensify in the coming days and will deepen Khamenei's crises in the coming weeks and months.

 

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