The Velayat-e faqih regime in Iran has been speaking out against the destruction of the religious sites in Iraq by the militants of the Islamic State (IS). While the destruction of these sites is indeed deplorable, and the outrage is well placed, we must be cognizant that this is being used as an excuse by the Iranian government to unleash its Shi’ite militias- not for the protection of Shi’ite sites and people, but the destruction of Sunni groups as well as a major hold in Central Iraq.
That the holy sites in Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf, Baghdad and Samarra have been called “redlines” by President Rouhani and his Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan has followed suit and said that Iran would make uninvited ground and aerial interventions in Iraq in order to protect the sites. They have been able to launch a military war, under the pretext of a religious just war.
Lebanese Shiite scholar Mohammad Ali al-Husseini writes for Al Jazeera and compares the desire to protect the holy sites in Iraq by the Iranian regime with the situation in Iraq in 2006.
In 2006, the role and meddling of Iran was vehemently criticized after which came the sudden explosion at Askari Imams’ shrine in Samarra that engulfed Iraq in pursuing sectarian conflicts. Iran was blamed for this, by General George Casey, then Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq.
And Iran was probably behind it, for in June 1994, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard by the name of Akbar Ganji has confessed the involvement of Iran’s Intelligence in the explosion of Imam Reza’s shrine in the city of Mashhad. While, regime’s Supreme Leader Khamenei, within four hours of the event! accused the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) of carrying out that explosion.
What al-Husseini seems to be leading us to is the conclusion that there is more conspiracy than meets the eye. Has the IS been framed by the Iranian state? He says that this regime uses “any method or instrument to reach its objectives”.
When the U.S. military was conducting airstrikes over Karbala and Najaf, where was this outrage and ardor of the regime?
The suspicious plan of the regime to occupy Arab countries began with the plan that called for the protection of Zainab’s Shrine in Syria, and was followed with the dispatch of military divisions. This same scenario happened with the protection of the shrine of Kholeh, Imam Hussein’s daughter, in Lebanon that led to creating infiltration centers and areas in these countries. This is a slow Iranian infiltration, that due to the terrible scourge that is IS, is going un-checked in Iraq.
The Iraqi government has had to open up its borders to four million Iranians under the pretext of pilgrimage. Al-Husseini askes if Yemen and Saudi Arabia under the pretext of protecting holy sites.
The protection of Shi’ite history is one thing, that Sunnis and Shi’ites would be united in, but an Iranian invasion, war crimes against Sunnis, and the lack of critical voice against the Velayat-e faqih is quite another.