In the shadow of US-Iranian conflict : Iraq , where to ?

In the shadow of US-Iranian conflict : Iraq , where to ?

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Iran was the main beneficiary of the US occupation of Iraq on April 9, 2003, and the disposal of its enemy, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, considering that occupation and disposal as a strategic gift provided by the administration of former US president – whether it knows or does not know – to the Iranian regime. However, Iran over time became the dominant state on Iraqi political system established by the United States of America in the post-Saddam Hussein. In the context of enhancing the Iranian gains in Iraq, will Iran invest the legitimate Iraqi people’s protests in central and southern Iraq to face the pressures and challenges imposed by the administration of US President Trump, especially after its withdrawal from the nuclear agreement and the imposition of economic sanctions that have reached the level of denial of the sale of its share of oil to world markets. Washington has also launched joint propaganda efforts, including campaigns on social networking sites, to stir public discontent in Iran.
In the light of the current circumstances in Iraq, it is very difficult to form an Iraqi government because of the results of the rigged elections and the escalation of differences between the dominant powers whose symbols began to acknowledge the serious mistakes committed by them and led to the boycott of the elections by Iraqis and the declaration of the uprising against the injustice of partisan party governments since the occupation. The US Embassy in Baghdad announced its support for the Iraqi right to peaceful assembly, stressing its readiness to contribute to economic reform and fight corruption in the country. The embassy said in a statement on Monday that it “supports the right of the Iraqi people to peacefully assemble and express their views,” expressing “welcome the Iraqi government’s statement that it protects the right of its citizens to demonstrate peacefully.” The embassy also expressed its “regret for the lives that have been lost between the demonstrators and the security forces,” noting “its readiness to support the Iraqi people and government in their efforts on economic reform and fighting corruption and in creating jobs and provide services that the Iraqi people deserve.”

But what is worrying here is that Iran is investing hard times to put Basra and the south areas under its direct control ahead of the upcoming Tehran summit at the end of July in the presence of the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran.
If that happens, which is expected and possible because of its capable armed arms which hold the Iraqi political decision-making, it will achieve a proactive step through which it can achieve two objectives at the same time :
The first is to achieve a strong pressure paper in the face of the possibility of the demand by Russia to withdraw from Syria as part of a deal for the Helsinki summit held on July 16 between Putin and Trump to share power and resolve areas of engagement of the concerned regional parties (Iran and Turkey)
Second: Thwarting the US decision to stop the import of Iranian oil starting from the next November by the threat to stop the export of Iraqi oil and create a major problem for the global economy.
The proof of this analysis is that Iraq will be the breeding ground for the US-Iranian conflict in the region, a warning by Iranian President Hassan Rowhani to US President Donald Trump not to play with fire, stressing that the conflict with Iran would be “the mother of wars.” Rowhani said addressing the US president “You declare war and then talk about your desire to support the Iranian people. You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests.” Rohani renewed his warning that Iran could close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping line for world oil supplies. “Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say we will stop Iran’s oil exports … we have been the guarantor of the regional’s security throughout history, do not play with fire because you will regret.” He added America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars. Rohani’s comments come ahead of a speech to be delivered by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later on Sunday, part of Washington’s efforts to stir unrest against the Islamic government in Iran. Khamenei backs Rouhani ‘s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are halted and said negotiations with the United States would be “a clear mistake.”

Strategic analysts following the Iranian situation closely considered that President Hassan Rouhani’s threats to the United States, reminiscent of a language used by former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, it was part of an attempt to re-float himself first, they explained that Rouhani was seeking through his bidding on the hardliners to justify his position after losing the bet on the agreement reached by Iran with the Group of Five plus one “the United States with the other four permanent members of the Security Council and Germany . “On its nuclear issue in the summer of 2015, Rouhani warned the United States of “playing with fire,” stressing that the conflict with Iran would be “the mother of wars.” They said that Rouhani succeeded in gaining the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who supported his strict positions towards the United States, which threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if Iran could not export its oil. Earlier, General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guard, supported the Rouhani’s positions of closing the strategic Strait of Hormuz. They pointed out that Rouhani’s words that the conflict with Iran would be the “mother of wars ” with the United States of America reflects the Iranian president’s need for internal support on the one hand and his fear of the impact of the new sanctions that Donald Trump’s administration intends to impose on Iran. They also pointed out that Rohani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had bet on the agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue, which the United States decided to withdraw from in the last May. They said that the decline of the betting on a gradual lifting of US sanctions and the Trump administration’s announcement about new sanctions have put the Iranian president in a critical position internally, especially in the light of the traditional position taken by the leader (al-Murshed ), who has always warned against any negotiations with the United States.

In this context , foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasimi said “If America wants to take serious action on this path, it will certainly face counter-action by Iran,” . However, Qasimi described the American proposals on preventing the export of Iranian oil as “mere swaggering,” adding that “previous analyzes indicate that America and with the Security Council resolutions could not do so.” Iran has not only made these statements , but has come out of the traditional responses of Khamenei and Rouhani and launched its threats via Soleimani , where Iran has realized that it has entered a new stage of confrontation with the United States, and that the speeches of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei or President Hassan Rouhani are no longer useful , leaving the task of launching threats about coming war in the region to its most dangerous generals, Qassem Soleimani . Iranian Major –General Qassem Suleimani , chief commander of the extraterritorial al-Quds force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) , was quoted by Al-Alam television as saying on Thursday : “The Red Sea is no longer safe with US forces in the region,” he added defiant of US President Donald Trump. “I am an opponent to you and my forces are opponent to you, I tell you Mr. Trump the gambler, I tell you , be aware that at the moment when you are incapable of thinking, we are close to you in a place you never imagined.” Sulaimani added saying: “You will start this war but we will be the ones to impose its end” , adding,” Do you threaten us, we are lovers of death “.
“The Red Sea, which was secure, is no longer secure with the American presence,” the Iranian semi-official Al-Alam television quoted Soleimani as saying, considering “the Quds Force is an equal opponent of American forces.” Does Iran want to continue conflicting with the Americans, where North Korea has stopped? So far, all the reported data indicate that Tehran has taken the decision to confront, based on Trump’s trade wars with Europe and China, and his retreat in front of the Russians at the Helsinki Summit on July 16, and as an American return to the backwards. The Iranian move seems that it looks like North Korea in shape, which went into mutual escalation with the United States over the months of 2017 and 2018, before Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed on a new page between the two countries based on bilateral cooperation.

The targeting of a Saudi oil tanker by the Huthis in Yemen was not an isolated incident, or an attempt by the rebel group to draw the attention of the Arab coalition countries to their ability to react to the tightening of the siege on Hodeidah. It later became clear that the attack was part of an Iranian message to the United States that Tehran was capable of disrupting navigation in a double message to prevent companies and countries from buying or investing in oil, as well as threats from US officials to respond strongly to the threat of Iran to prevent shipments of oil in the Strait of Hormuz. This comes as Saudi Arabia announced a temporary suspension of shipments of oil through the Red Sea in a symbolic message to Western countries such as Britain and the United States, which deal with the laxness and dilution of the Huthi threat to the security of international navigation, as well as seeking to replace the military option to protect this security with loose efforts of apolitical solution that provides only more time for the rebels associated with Iran to continue to run forward. Analysts say that the assignment of the task to launch High-level statements aimed primarily at absorbing the fears of the Iranian interior that have been clearly expanded and reflected by the activists’ position on the media, especially the US success in creating an appropriate ground for sanctions by forcing major international companies to reduce its activities in Iran and be ready to the final departure and the analysts indicate that the Iranians started to admit that the sanctions which will start in November has become reality and should be ready for anew siege and the consequent deepening of the social crisis .
But the danger that led the authorities to choose the “falcon” Sulaymani and push him to the forefront is the Iranians’ feeling that the nature of the regime, its slogans and its dream of exporting the revolution to its surroundings are all factors causing the suffering of the Iranian people and that if their country has focused on resolving its internal crises and building trust relations with is neighboring states , it would succeed to build strong economy The slogans raised in the recent protests revealed that the Iranian people were opposed to exporting the revolution and its direct interventions in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain, and that the high costs of these interventions could have solved the economic and social crisis in the country . Political observers have underestimated Soleimani’s remarks, saying that the goal is maneuvering rather than drawing the Americans into a confrontation even it is limited with Iran, pointing out that the direct sinking of Tehran in several crises and the financial costs and military alert it is not allowed to wage a war even with limited mandates with the USA , for a qualitative difference in the balance of power and the lack of conditions for this adventure, especially in view of its regional isolation and the weakness of its arms in the region.
Observers believe that the margin of maneuver possessed by Iran does not exceed the thrust of its arms in the region to ignite isolated incidents to attract attention, and try to invest in the blackmail of the United States, which succeeded during the period of US President Barack Obama and difficult to re-employment during the Trump. And Iran is sought to move its arms in the region to provoke the United States or regional countries, and is only observing the reactions, taking advantage of international laxity in assessing the threat of these arms, especially with regard to the Houthis, where Washington and various Western capitals continue to reduce the risk of the rebel group and opposing the military action against it and enable it to gain the time to undermine the Yemeni and international political offers produced to accept political resolution to put an end to the crisis and reunified Yemen , But suggesting to the Houthis to target the international navigation is aimed at proving Iran’s ability to maneuver or seeking to improve the terms of negotiations with Washington and rejecting “dialogue under threat” will not give results in Tehran’s favor, especially that important Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE have sought to exploit the incident as evidence of its right endeavor for military action in Hodeidah with a view to securing international Navigation . Middle East expert James Dorsey said suspension of oil shipments “provides Saudi Arabia and the UAE with an opportunity to push the international community to focus on finding a solution to the civil war” in Yemen. He added “Suspension of oil shipments could lead to escalation of the conflict with the possibility of intervention by external forces to support Saudi Arabia.”

The Iranians are not North Korea; they are in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. They want the Houthis to maintain firepower in the Bab al-Mandab Straits. They said they gave notification in this regard when they say that they sent a drone plane ” flying 1,500 kilometers over the territory of Yemen and Amman targeting Abu Dhabi airport,” indicating that even if they lost the province of Hodeidah, they could close the Bab al-Mandab Strait, which is only a few kilometers away from Saada and Sana’a, compared to the distance between them and Abu Dhabi.

The Iranians used to launch threats throughout history, especially against the Americans, but none of them were actually implemented. Iran does not operate directly, except in rare cases, leaving to its Arab allies the field work. So Sulaimani’s threats do not mean that the war will come definitely, but because it will not fall allowing such a high ceiling of challenge. If there was a sign of an American-Iranian war, there would be no threats from Soleimani, but from Khamenei himself. Nor this war will not destroy the United States, just as it will end the existence of the Iranian regime noting that the Americans are not as concerned about the shape of the regime as they are concerned about signing a new nuclear agreement and keeping its application hich is the fundamental objective of Sulaimani’s threats, that is, raising the voice to raise the negotiating ceiling and the mutual terms in the nuclear file.
The Iranian is aware that he will not be able to continue long to escape the economic impasse he is suffering from, and the social problems suffered by Tehran is not detailed in a country has never seen such a social movement. The most important question: Where can there be an indirect confrontation between Americans and Iranians, before the signing of the new nuclear agreement? Iraq will be good. Syria, but Yemen is the basis between the two countries, and the conduct of battles there is subject to the extent of their ability to impose their vision, or the solution by which the winner ill control the Straits of Bab al-Mandab.
” Rouhani’s threat to Washington did not go unanswered ,” Trump told the Iranian president on the last Sunday to ” never , ever threaten the USA again , or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before . we are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death . be cautious … watch out! ” .
In the context of a campaign led by President Trump’s administration to weaken the support of Iranian leaders, US officials said that the administration of President Donald Trump, through speeches and messages on the Internet, is a campaign aimed at provoking unrest and helping to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear program and support armed groups in the region. More than six current and former officials said: The campaign, supported by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, is aimed at working in coordination with the Trump campaign to clamp down on Iran economically by reinstating strict sanctions.
Current and current officials said the campaign highlighted the shortcomings of Iranian leaders, sometimes using exaggerated information or contradicting other official statements, including statements by previous administrations. A review of the US State Department in Persian language on Twitter and the Sher America website of the ministry revealed a number of the messages that have been critical of Iran over the past month describe the website itself as a platform for launching debate on democracy and other issues. Iran is the focus of four of the five main themes of the section of “Countering violent extremism” the site. Amonng the titles of these issues are the Iranian airline contributes to the spread of violence and terrorism and “On 21 June, Pompeo published on Twitter illustrative pictureson the subject of protests in Iran is spreading , and “” The Iranian People Deserve their Human Rights, “and” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards ” are getting richer while the Iranian families are suffering “, where these twitters are translated into Persian and published on the website of Sher America.

In this context a senior state Department official told reporters that the minister Mike Pompeo will deliver a speech to the Iranian community to urge them to support the protesting movement in Iran and the official added the “With the approach of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in 1979, Pompeo will again draw the Iranian regime’s theft of the revolution during the past period , and the terrorism in the region and brutal repression, as well as sectarian persecution in Iran, “noting that about 250 thousand Iranian-American lives in southern California. It is mentioned that Pompeo will deliver a speech under the title – support for the Iranian votes – in the library of President Ronald Reagan in Simi Valley in California and he will shed light on the “the corruption of the thief regime, which gave priority to its ideology at the expense of the well-being of the Iranian people.” Iranian dissidents sent a letter to Pompeo asking him to impose punitive measures on Iranian radio accused of “playing a fundamental role in human rights violations. There was a division among ” diplomatic circles and experts in Washington on whether the current social crisis has rocked Iran or even threatened it from within.
According to Iranian experts, Trump’s campaign against Iran is strategically aimed at strangling Iran economically and fueling public discontent against the leadership to reach one of two consequences: first, to surrender and force Iran to reduce not only its nuclear program but also its regional ambitions. The second result is the collapse of the Islamic Republic. ”

In the face of this diplomatic confrontation between Washington and Tehran, which may take other forms in the foreseeable future, what should Iraq do to avoid as much as possible confrontation? The solution from the point of view of those who follow the Iraqi issue is the only solution available to form an emergency government backed externally that will deal with the Iraqi situation in a comprehensive manner including the constitution, institutions and comprehensive corruption, unfair procedures and laws, and to put Iraq under the martial management for years to reformulate its national political system. If Abadi was unable to take this decisive step by supporting the army as he is its general commander (and he is called for this by virtue of his first responsibility after announcing victory over ISIS and announcing his readiness to start the fight against corruption, the country’s biggest scourge), in my opinion he should abandon it to those who are able to do so by support of Iraqi armed forces exclusively as well as the support of the Iraqi people. Without this, Iraq would have been placed under the knife of actual partition as planned since the nineties by the Parliamentary Committee of the US Democratic Party under the administration of Joe Biden (the future of Iraq)
This will not happen without the total destruction that the country will be subjected to more than it has seen so far. “The scenario of the partition of Yugoslavia has become very close , and the only solution that imposes itself is the unity of all Iraqis to reject this project.” and the provinces to keep silent and watcher , will bring to them awe and despair, and they, especially those destroyed by ISIS to prepare for war and confrontation with ISIS early before its appearance again ,this is the response that must be taken to confront the division plot and don’t just declare poor statements in support of the uprising of their people in the south.

Iraqi Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies