Iran’s threatening messages to Iraq

If the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies had confidence that Iraq was still in their grasp, they would not threaten to burn it down.
Sunday 08/03/2020
University students attend a protest against Iran intervention, in Basra, last January. (Reuters)
Up against foreign meddling. University students attend a protest against Iran intervention, in Basra, last January. (Reuters)

Twice in just ten days, Iraqis were told by militia leaders, who were either conveying Iranian messages or making threats on their own, that Iraq will burn.

The first message came during a television interview with Muqtada al-Sadr, whose words were understood as saying that Tehran threatened to burn Iraq if a prime minister was appointed from outside the Fatah and Sairoun blocs.

The second threat of hellfire awaiting Iraq was if Intelligence Director Mustafa al-Kazemi was chosen prime minister. It was issued by a leader of the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades.

Recall that Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Allawi failed to form a government and called for the reappointment of Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi despite rumours of him resigning his post to obey the Shia authority’s desire.

The Iraqi Hezbollah thugs who issued the threat were the same ones who threatened to kick Iraqi President Barham Salih out of Baghdad if he met with US President Donald Trump. Salih did meet Trump on the sidelines of the Davos conference and our thug friends could not touch him.

Iraqis are confused about these barbaric threats and their connection to the world of politics because they are more appropriate to the world of mafias. Then again, they are probably more akin to Iran’s hollow threats of burning Israel, while it shamelessly purchased weapons from Israel during the Iran-Iraq war or perhaps they were expressions of desperation, just like Saddam Hussein’s threats of burning half of Israel.

The divisions among the Shia bloc over Allawi’s appointment as prime minister exposed the desperation of the pro-Iran parties in Iraq, especially among those who favour weapons as the best option to resolve crises, a choice they practised again and again against the people of Iraq since 2003.

However, the callous threats from Iran aimed at imposing the choice to its vassal Shia parties for new prime minister simply reflected the state of desperation of the Iranian regime over losing control of power in Baghdad after the popular revolt of October 1, 2019. One of the main goals of that revolt was to get rid of the Iranian influence in Baghdad.

Whenever circumstances allow, Iran shows its aggressive tendency. In 1979, the Khomeini regime exploited the sectarian factor to use Iraqi Shias for its national and political purposes. It ended up, however, betraying their 14-year hospitality.

One year after it took power in Tehran, it started a war against the Iraqis, a war that lasted eight years. One year after that war, it rejected Saddam’s peace initiatives, sensing, perhaps, that one day its forces would invade Iraq, overthrow the regime there and replace it with the velayat-e faqih.

Next came Ali Khamenei’s regime, which continued the endless series of killing Iraqis since the occupation of 2003. And yet, the people of Iraq do not bear any hatred towards the people of neighbouring Iran, since they are also victims of the injustice and tyranny of this regime.

If the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies had confidence that Iraq was still in their grasp, they would not threaten to burn it down. One wouldn’t burn one’s possession when one is benefiting from it. Then again, did they not burn the Sunni Arab cities of Mosul, Saladin, Fallujah, Diyala and Kirkuk out of spite and sectarian hatred?

These thugs do not possess the slightest notion of civil peace and dialogue. They are armed and dangerous, preparing the ground for the execution of their political leaders’ decisions to kill opponents and displace civilians.

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