Written by – Elijah J. Magnier:
It was not without forethought that the US Central Operations Commander (CENTCOM) General Kenneth Frank McKenzie said, “Iran is pushing its allies to attack the UAE because of its losses in Iraq.” It is directly related to the inter-Shia rivalry that has intensified unprecedentedly. Iraq has become an arena for political battle. Clashes have erupted, rich with offensive words and insults, which have never before been observed among political leaders within the Iraqi Shiite community. Matters seriously escalated when Sayed Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the “Sadr Movement”, described the “Axis of the Resistance” as the “worst of outlaws and terrorists”, breaking all taboos. These definitions have habitually been used only by Iran and the “Axis of the Resistance’s” enemies and by the US, the Gulf countries and Israel. It was indeed unusual for an Iraqi Shia leader who fought so vigorously against the US occupation of Iraq to forward such accusations in such a direction.
US General Kenneth F. McKenzie said Iran’s allies have sent armed drones to the United Arab Emirates because of “Iran’s losses in the Iraqi parliamentary elections.” This statement is considered by leading sources in the “Resistance Axis” as “not innocent at all.”
“Rather, it paves the way for steps or assassinations that the US is likely to take in Iraq against personalities and leaders to accuse Iran and its allies later, to trigger a civil war, especially between the fiercely antagonistic Shiite parties in the Iraqi arena.” The source fears that the US might try to assassinate Sayed Moqtada al-Sadr, similar to its assassination of the IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, later accusing Iran of being behind it to turn Iraqis against each other.
It is a reality that Iran’s allies within the “coordination framework” have lost many parliamentary seats in the recent elections, compared to the last parliamentary elections. However, Iran is far from losing its influence in Iraq. The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps- Al-Quds Brigade, General Ismail Qaani, decided not to interfere in anyone’s favour in the Parliamentary elections, the outcome of the results and the inter-Shia alliances. Furthermore, General Qaani asked all parties with whom he maintains an excellent relationship, Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds, to try to agree among themselves for the sake of the stability of Iraq. Qaani aims to prevent the US and Turkey from exploiting the potential instability of Iraq if the political process stagnates.
It is no secret that Iran has solid Iraqi allies, independent of the results of the political process and the parliamentary elections. Consequently, Iran is not expected to give up its influence in Iraq as long as its leaders believe there is a real danger to its national security due to the US presence in Iraq. Moreover, the freedom of movement enjoyed by Israeli intelligence in northern Iraq, Kurdistan, which is not under the central government’s control in Baghdad, is also a source of concern to Tehran.
Moreover, Turkey occupies part of Bashiqa in Kurdistan, has dozens of military bases, and carelessly (and habitually) violates Iraq’s sovereignty. Turkey has launched attacks – as it did against Sinjar and Makhmour in Nineveh province – disregarding warning communication from Baghdad.
The US has every reason to stay in Iraq and keep its forces with the apparent pretext of fighting terrorism and defeating ISIS. President Joe Biden is not expected to abandon his bases in Iraq, nor the profits the US companies can collect in oil-rich Mesopotamia. Moreover, the US has a centre of influence in Iraq. It will not give up easily, mainly when the long borders with Iran offer the US and its Israeli allies ample possibilities of sabotage attacks and intelligence actions in Iran.
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Proofread by: Maurice Brasher