The recent Iraqi parliamentary elections were of tremendous importance. However, the main outcome should be sought through the development of the Iraqi political society and the shift in the balance of power in Iran and in Iraq.
The recent polls and the democratic-nationalist forces triumph delivered a severe setback to the Iranian regime’s political ambitions in Iraq.
On April 11, 2010, David Ignatius, writing for the Washington Post quoted Vice President Biden and wrote that: “Iran’s covert bid for influence there had been ‘clobbered’ and that Baghdad appears headed toward an “inclusive” coalition government. As for Iran’s bid for influence, Biden was emphatic in arguing that it had failed. He disclosed that Tehran had spent up to $100 million to back the Shiite religious parties and subvert the Iraqiya bloc, a secular Sunni-Shiite alliance headed by Ayad Allawi. “
The mullahs’ rule in Iran, under the velayat-faqih, has guaranteed its survival in the past three decades through severe suppression of the Iranian people, the export of terrorism and fundamentalism to Iraq and other Islamic countries of the region. Due to the cultural and Shiite religious characteristics of Iraq’s society, and the presence of numerous Shiite holy shrines in this country, political developments and the recent election results, meaning which coalition will form the future government in Iraq, has strategic values for the Iranian regime The defeat of the Iranian-backed parties in Iraq’s elections literally poses grave threat to the very existence of the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime, using its past experience, initiated wide range tactics to change the Iraqi parliamentary results in favor of parties bowing to its policies. Part of this plan started with eliminating and assassinating nationalist figures and movements that stood against the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq. In this trend, the Iranian regime continued its malevolent campaign by successively graduating fraud, coming from three decades of experience in Iran.
Iraq is the Mullahs’ Springboard to Dominate the Region
During the days when Khomeini assumed power in Iran in 1979, ascendency over Iraq has been one of Khomeini and his followers’ main tasks of order. “Quds (Jerusalem) through Karbala,” announced by Khomeini during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s clearly outlined the mullahs’ strategy. Senior Iranian regime officials have reiterated time and time again that the Iranian regime has set up its frontline in Iraq, and Lebanon and Palestine constitute the “strategic depth” of their rule. For this reason, Iraq is the scene of a strategic confrontation between Tehran and the international community. The Iranian regime’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in August 28 of last year that U.S. power in Iraq is rapidly diminishing. He went on to say that Iran, with the help of regional friends and the Iraqi nation, is ready to fill the vacuum.
The U.S. led occupation of Iraq in 2003 procured a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the mullahs’ hidden occupation of Iraq. Following the fall of the previous Iraqi government, all security, intelligence, military and political institutions were dismantled and the grounds for the Iranian regime’s infiltration of Iraq were set. The Iranian regime played a major role in directing the annihilation of these governmental bodies. Parties affiliated to the Iranian regime, trained and nurtured alongside the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran, were instead infiltrated to newly-formed institutes in Iraq as political opposition forces. Taking advantage of the U.S. led forces’ inexperience and lack of knowledge regarding Iraqi history and culture, they took control of the political power in this country. In 2005, the Iranian Resistance revealed a list of 32,000 terrorist Quds Force agents of the Iranian regime, holding high posts in government and non-government organizations of Iraq, even in the Prime Minister’s Office. This confidential list included monthly salaries of agents in Iraq received directly from the IRGC and even their bank account numbers. Also, hundreds of front organizations and front foundations, under the guise of religious and cultural tasks for reconstruction of Iraq, were established in Iraq by the Quds Froce and the IRGC. Millions of dollars were invested in these plans, all with the aim of providing weapons and logistic support for terrorist groups, inflaming sectarian violence, assassinating Iranian regime opponents in Iraq and exporting weapons and explosives to this country. With the passage of time Iraq’s geopolitical status in the overall political spectrum was felt more than ever for all bodies involved in the war against terrorism. Although, with a deadline for the U.S. forces’ complete pull out from Iraq on the horizon, the future of Iraq has become an issue of utmost geopolitical importance for the Iranian regime as well.
Suppression of Mojahedin of Camp Ashraf – Sole Condition for Supporting Political Parties in Iraq
The main demand by Iranian regime in any negotiations with Iraqi political parties was and is the suppression, expulsion and or deportation of Mojahedin members from Camp Ashraf in return to be supported for their elections. This was demand by all senior Iranian officials with Iraqi counterparts during numerous visits in the past year. On February 28, 2009, Khamenei, the mullahs’ highest ranking official, openly mentioned a mutual agreement in his meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talebani in Tehran, intending to mainly remind Maleki, and demanded the suppression of Ashraf residents. Therefore, a committee under the direct eye of Maleki was established to fulfill this demand. This committee, working in complete cooperation with the Iranian embassy in Baghdad, placed Muwaffaq al- Rubaiee in charge of fulfilling the mutual agreement in order to “make life intolerable for the residents of Ashraf.” A full siege, denying fuel, medicine, and food rations to Ashraf began, leading to the vicious attacks and killings of defenseless Ashraf residents on July 28th and 29th under direct orders of Maleki. These heinous crimes, which left 11 dead, over 1,000 beaten and injured, and 36 Ashraf residents kidnapped, were part of the Khamenei-Maleki mutual agreement for a second firm in office as Iraqi Prime Minister. However, even with all these efforts, due to widespread international campaigning and endless efforts against the mutual anti-humane acts of the Iranian regime and Maleki, against Ashraf on one hand, and the perseverance of the residents of Ashraf on the other, these conspiracies have been futile so far and the chances of fulfilling Khamenei-Maleki’s mutual scheme is incomplete.
Iraqi Alternative the Prevailing Iranian Alternative
Today in Iraq, two alternatives are facing off: the Iraqi nationalist alternative vis-à-vis the Iranian alternative aiming to engulf Iraq. The major problem facing the Iraqi society is the undeniable hidden occupation of this country by the Iranian regime, and the Iraqi people and its nationalist forces first priority is to form an Iraqi alternative to stand against the dominance of the mullahs’ regime in their country. The main priority in Iraq’s society becoming clear will bolster the establishment of an alternative uniting Iraqi democratic and nationalist forces. The Iranian regime’s severe setback in Iraq’s elections delivered a strong message to the entire Middle East region. The victory of the Iraqi nationalist forces, under the umbrella of opposing the Iranian regime and its meddling in their country will shift the political balance power not only in Iraq, but the region as a whole and the future political spectrum will lead to peace and stability. Therefore, the Iranian regime, with a new wave of deadly explosions in Iraq, is attempting to prevent the formation of a democratic-nationalist alliance in this country.
Political awareness taken up by the West and especially Arab countries regarding the current faltering status of the Iranian regime due to defeat in the Iraqi elections, national uprising inside the country and international sanctions, will secure the needed grounds to adopt a firm decision to enforce harsh international sanctions invigorate the Iraqi nationalist alliance and support the Iranian people’s uprising and their resistance against the mullahs’ regime, in the path of democratic change in Iran. For the past seven years, all Iraqi patriots and anyone who is striving for security and stability in Iraq have recognized the importance of PMOI/MEK’s presence in Iraq as the antithesis of the Iranian mullahs. Ayad Jamaluddin, Iraqi MP and prominent Shiite cleric said: “If Iran doesn’t end its interference in our affairs, we shall activate the PMOI, yet refraining them from military operation. However, we shall provide grounds for their political and media freedoms, and this is not against Iraq’s constitution.” He went on to insist, “Any force that pushes to expel the PMOI from Iraq, signals the indication that it is organically tied to Iran. (Al-Baghdadia TV, March 8, 2009)
Of the barriers confronting change in Iran and the end of the mullahs’ “Islamic Empire” ambitions in the region are the West’s appeasement policy on this regime and restrictions enforced on Ashraf, under the unjustified pretext of the terrorist labeling of the PMOI. The grounds for legitimizing the Iranian regime and not adopting a firm policy against it will have irrecoverable consequences for world peace.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Shahriar Kia is a member of the PMOI in Ashraf.