Finding itself in a tight spot over its nuclear programme and facing deep internal and external crisis, the Iranian regime especially in the last decade has looked outwards to find a solution to its many woes.
The regime’s meddling in the Middle East and elsewhere has been a cause for much turmoil in the region. Now, it appears that members of the regime and IRGC are not even making serious attempts to hide their involvement.
The exercise is aimed at expanding influence to spread its ideology and keep mullahs in Tehran secure, which is becoming increasingly difficult as the regime’s power withers with each passing day.
IRGC Major General Shamkhani, Secretary of the regime Supreme National Security Council and a close associate of Hassan Rouhani, said on December 29 during the burial ceremony of IRGC Brigadier General Taqavi who was killed, “The sick gossipers today question what we are doing in Iraq and Syria.
If Taqavis don’t shed their blood in Samarra, we have to shed blood in Sistan, Azerbaijan, Shiraz and Esfahan… Taqavi and the Taqavis today give this blood because before we give blood in Tehran, we have to defend in Samarra and give blood there.”
In a speech, that clearly defines the intentions of the Iranian mullahs for the region, the Special Assistant to Rouhani and former Minister of Intelligence and Security, Ali Younessi, said on March 8.
“At present, not only Iraq is under the influence of our civilization, but it is our identity, culture, center and capital. This is the case today and has been the case in the past because the geography of Iran and Iraq is inseparable and our culture is inseparable.
hus, we either have to fight each other or become one.” The state-run media reported Younessi saying that we “defend the interests of the people of the region because they are all the people of Iran, all those who live in the Iranian Plateau will enjoy our protection and we shall protect them from the threat of reactionary Islam, atheism and heresy, a new Othman dominion, Wahhabi dominion, Western dominion, and Zionism. The Iranian Plateau has always been the vessel for Iranian ethnicities, Iranian civilization, and Iranian languages. The central, western and eastern sections of the Iranian Plateau have always been the vessel to protect, breed and grow Iranian ethnicities and all those who live in this region are of Iranian ethnicities.”
Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), General Jafari, said while during a meeting of Assembly of Experts on March 11, “The advisory role of the Islamic Republic in Iraq and Syria with the assistance and advise of IRGC military commanders” is an achievement of the regime and “today, not just Palestine and Lebanon, but the peoples of Iraq and Syria acknowledge the effective role of the Islamic Revolution.”
On the same day, while addressing a meeting of the Youth and Islamic Awakening Conference, Commander of the Qods Force, Qasem Soleimani, said, “Iran is present in southern Lebanon and in Iraq too. Actually, in a way, these regions are affected by the measures and the mindset of Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Member of the regime’s Council of Cultural Revolution, Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, was reported to have said, “According to Quran, according to the constitution, according to unequivocal commands of the Imam and the leadership, according to our Sharia and revolutionary duty, and as our own national interests require, we need to create at a minimum a 100,000 strong jihadi and operational army for Islamic countries and territories that are raided by occupiers such as is the case in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan, probably Yemen and other countries of the sort.” He added, “A 100,000 Islamic army needs to be created to serve the world’s wretched in five continents in coordination with the poor states and nations.”
Khamenei’s representative in the IRGC, Hojatoleslam Ali Saeedi, had said, “One day, our borders were in Shalamche, Haj Omran and Mehran. Today, our border is at the Mediterranean coast.” He went on to state, “Everyone knows that what has been effective in the Lebanese equation has been the Iranian missile; the Iranian power. What saved Iraq was the will and culture of Basij.”
All these statements from key officials and members of the regime serve to give quite a picture of the extent of regime’s meddling in the region and the rationale employed by it to justify its intrusion. The appeasement policy adapted by Western countries has been a facilitating factor for the regime throughout the ongoing episode.