The people of Iraq turned the Muharram mourning ceremony into another uprising against the Iranian regime’s meddling and its terrorist proxy groups. These protests held in Iraq’s southern provinces with a Shi’ite majority showed the people of Iraq are seriously concerned about the Iranian regime’s deadly presence in Iraq.
These protests also showed how the Iranian regime’s so-called “strategic depth” in Iraq has shattered after years of wasting the Iranian people’s national wealth and using Shi’ite Islam to promote and push its warmongering policies.
The Muharram mourning ceremonies are held to commemorate the third Shi’ite Imam, Hossain-ibn Ali, who fought for freedom and was killed near the city of Karbala almost 14 centuries ago. Now, Iraqi protesters honor Hossain-ibn Ali’s legacy by revolting against the Iranian regime and its terrorist proxy groups, who have deprived the people of Iraq of their desired freedom.
Protesters held pictures of those slain since the beginning of the Iraqi people’s uprising, which is known as the “October Revolution.” They also targeted the Iranian regime’s meddling and activities by its terrorist proxy groups, which have been assassinating activists since the start of the Iraqi people’s uprising.
These protests during Muharram and in cities with the Shi’ite majority were considered a turning point in the Iraqi people’s uprising, because the Iranian regime had used Shiism and the fact that majority of the Iraqi population are Shi’ite to impose and fortify its deadly rule in Iraq. The mullahs’ regime has tried, through its proxy groups and known agents such as the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri-al Maliki, to portray that it enjoys the support of all Shi’ite Muslims. In fact, after the second Gulf War, the regime seized the opportunity to increase its influence in Iraq. Within the last few years, the Iranian regime was able to gradually seize power in Iraq and use this country for exporting terrorism, particularly helping Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria.
In addition, the Iranian regime used its terrorist activities in Iraq against Coalition forces and ordinary citizens as an extortion tool. The Iranian Resistance had previously urged the international community to stand against the regime’s terrorism in Iraq.
The Iranian regime’s influence in Iraq and its outcome
The Iranian regime used its influence to put pressure on members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Many MEK members were killed during the attacks by the regime’s terrorists or the army which was under Nuri-al Maliki’s command. Today is the seventh anniversary of the September 1, 2013, massacre in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where 52 unarmed members of the MEK were killed by the Iraqi forces by the order of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed on November 15, 2019, that how the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, acts as the secret governor of Iraq. According to the NCRI report, Masjedi played a key role in forming Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force (PMF). He described the PMF’s actions as those of a “force strictly following the supreme leader,” which has to be at his service and “the sacred causes of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Different IRGC officials, on different occasions, called the PMF “Iraq’s Revolutionary Guards” and said, “Popular Mobilization Force is the same as the Basij forces in Iran.”
“Masjedi fully supervised the PMF’s paramilitary troops entering the Sunni zones and massacring their residents under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Human Rights organizations and international media revealed details of these killings,” read the NCRI’s report.
“It is clear that the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, is Khamenei’s secret governor of Iraq. And as a top Quds Force commander, he is clearly the regime’s most important person in Iraq. Together, these positions provide him with both the authority and the diplomatic cover to order his agents to massacre the people of Iraq when their public demonstrations present a challenge to Iran’s influence,” the NCRI’s report added.
The Iranian regime’s influence is gradually waning since the Iraqi people’s uprising began in October 2019, and particularly after the elimination of Qassem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force Commander and the regime’s highest official in exporting terrorism.
The recent protests in Iraq in Shi’ite provinces with protesters calling for an end to the Iranian regime’s presence in Iraq indicates the mullahs’ so-called “strategic depth” is about to collapse. To understand the situation better, it is necessary to take note of the fact that the Iranian regime is founded on domestic oppression and export of terrorism abroad. Therefore, the protests in Iraq and recently in Lebanon against the Iranian regime and its terrorist proxy group Hezbollah along with the nationwide major protests in Iran in November 2019 are on the same path and could safely be called a heavy blow to the regime.