By fighting to disable Baghdad to catch up with civilizational march

Iran Worked on Systematic Bulldozing in Iraq

New Persian strategy was based on replacing loyalty to the sect at the expense of loyalty to homelands, promoting among peoples and minorities that the idea of sect is the basis, rather than nationalism and patriotism that they follow. Hence was the call came to Wilayat al-Faqih as a haven in which Iranians could meet with other minorities, peoples and nationalities. Later, their loyalty to Iran was used indirectly, portraying Iran as the only haven for the sect in the world.

Khomeini and the mullahs considered that Iraq is the jewel of the Iranian sectarian crown that they dream of establishing one day. Sectarianism that they spread was only a bridge to cross towards building the Persian nation-state, no matter how hidden they were behind stories, myths and superstitions. Therefore, the focus was on Iraq more than others; being a geographical extension of Arab Ahvaz region, as remaining independent necessarily means disruption of the Iranian occupation of Ahwaz, in addition to its being an eastern gateway to the Arab world and controlling it means controlling an important part of the world’s oil, water and agricultural wealth. Further, Iraq is an advanced base for controlling the rest of the Arab region all the way to the Arabian Peninsula and the holy places therein, so as to turn them into shrines and to introduce Zoroastrian ideas and beliefs into them, as the Safavids did one day.

The Iranians used the policy of attacking from abroad and adopted military effort, contradicting their doctrine that they built over hundreds of years by outsourcing to carry out wars on their behalf (recruiting Hezbollah and Houthis, for example). This was because they knew that they were unable to penetrate the solid Iraqi body from within, which was built on a patriotic, nationalist belief. They deliberately exhausted it from the outside in a long war that lasted more than eight years during Iran-Iraq war, while preparing mercenaries, saboteurs and agents to push into the Iraqi interior at any political or security weak moment.

Iran was never able to carry out any activity inside Iraq after Iranian revolution, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. Hence, Tehran modified its plan and built sectarian and armed networks, organizations and currents that it trained for years inside Iran. So, it was not a soft penetration as it did in Yemen or Lebanon at the beginning, but rather an organized armed action that lurked over twenty years, until the year (2003). Following the American occupation of Iraq, sectarian and militia poison was injected into the body of Iraq to exhaust and eliminate it.

Iranian Political Penetration into Arab Neighboring Countries, authored by Wasfi Aqil and Khaled al-Dabbas, describes Iranian practices to penetrate its Arab neighborhood as a strategy that relied on subjugating elite society, i.e., partisan political classes, as well as societies, by cultivating sectarianism and loyalty to the sect at the expense of homelands.

The Persians exhausted Iraq by spewing sectarian and militia poison.

Iran deliberately did not recognize Iraq as an independent state. Here, we are not talking about the current Iranian state that is controlled by the mullahs, but rather about the Shah’s Iran. Iranian ambitions in Iraq, its lands and its long history are basically Persian ambitions, sometimes covered by the Persian nationalism that the Shah represented and, at other times, by Safavid sect, which is currently represented by the mullahs.

It is also indicated in Iranian Political Penetration into Arab Neighboring Countries that: “Iran did not historically recognize the independence of Iraq and official relations remained tense, ignoring recognition of political borders until 1975, when both states signed the Algiers Agreement to demarcate borders. Then that agreement collapsed after the war broke out between them in 1980. Following the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Iranian-Iraqi relations improved under the new government, which was dominated by pro-Iranian representation”.

Fall of Baghdad… Fall of Iraq:

The fall of Baghdad as a result of the American occupation (2003) was not just an occupation of an Arab capital. Rather, it was a resounding downfall of the civilization of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates, and the Arab civilization, which was manifested in its brightest form in Baghdad Al-Rashid and other caliphs.

Baghdad was not just a passing city in the Arab conscience, but the icon of capitals, the most present in history, jurisprudence and human sciences. Hence was the tyrannical Persian hatred for Baghdad, stone and people, represented in the tens of thousands of terrorist bombings and killings on identity and intimidation practiced by militias affiliated with Iran after the fall of Baghdad. The number of murdered and displaced persons was estimated at more than two million, not to mention economic, educational, health and developmental collapse. Iraq has fallen back on the ladder of civilization because of the Iranian occupation thereof for hundreds of years. Researcher Muammar Faisal Khouli says in his publication: “The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003 came as a historic opportunity for the Iranian regime to transform its relationship with Iraq, which was previously one of its fiercest enemies, taking advantage of the long and porous borders with Iraq and its long-term relations with major Iraqi politicians, Iraqi parties and armed groups, as well as its soft power, represented in economic, religious and media fields in order to expand its influence and consolidate its position therein”.

Occupation of Iraq by the United States of America is considered the largest strategic gift given to the Iranian regime to proceed with its expansionist project. Thus, it began with tightening control over Iraq, to later expand  in the Arab East states. That project had its motives, forms and influential tools. There are several motives that led Iran to enter as one of the main parties in the developments in the Iraqi arena, the most prominent of which are: transforming Iraq into a strategic launching platform for the region; given the Iranian strategic interest that sees Iraq as an important starting point for Iranian incursion into the rest of the states of the region, towards Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Arab Gulf states.

Security challenge to Iraqi government has escalated. In light of the Iraqi government’s inability to confront “ISIS” organization, which was created and supported by Tehran itself, Iran exploited Iraq’s needs and the conditions it is going through.

By the nature of the US policy towards Iraq, Barack Obama administration encouraged the Iranian role to influence Iraqi internal balances. Although Iran did not officially participate in the international coalition to fight terrorism led by Washington, the US administration welcomed the Iranian role in Iraq, which means giving Tehran the green light to play its role in Iraq.

Penetrating power is the way to the heart of Iraq:

Iran has benefited greatly from the American occupation of Iraq and its building of a political system based on parties stemming from a sectarian dimension and external loyalty. Iran was fully prepared and was able, through the institutions that the American occupation built, in parliament, provinces and ministries, to infiltrate it through elites that owe allegiance to Tehran. Rather, it has turned into a system of employees who obey Iranian directives and work for the benefit of stated other than their own.

Penetration was deep and cruel as Tehran began to get rid of every person it believed was a threat to its occupation project. Killing and assassination of the educated and independent Iraqi elites was a phenomenon that spread throughout Iraq, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers, politicians, doctors, engineers, scientists, university professors, poets, writers and intellectuals. It was a systematic razing of Iraq. Iran’s agents in Iraq also implemented a policy of confronting any Arab-Iraqi relations or reconciliation, with the aim of isolating Iraq from its Arab surroundings and space.

In conclusion, Iran is seeking, through the destruction of Iraq, to achieve two objectives: First: Savage vengeance of the feeling accumulated within the Iranian conscience against everything that is Arab, and Iraqi in particular. Iraq, which was once occupied by the Sasanian Empire, was transformed during the era of the Umayyads and Abbasids to be the capital of managing Persian affairs, from which armies and administration of Khorasan and the rest of the Persian provinces depart. Therefore, Iraq shall remain very sensitive to Iran.

Second: The ruling elite in Tehran cannot accept that the state it controls is better than its own, especially since it has completely failed to improve, develop or advance the conditions therein. Today, Iran is considered one of the most backward and deteriorating stated at all levels. Is it logical that Tehran would accept that Baghdad becomes an advanced, enlightened and luminous capital?!, which fully applies to Beirut or Sana’a as well.

1. Ahmed Hakki, Nature and Forms of Alliance and Cooperation Through Different Ages between Iran and the West (Amman: Dar Ammar, 2013).

2. Afshan Estwar, “Sectarian Dilemmas in Iranian Foreign Policy: When Identity Politics Collide with Strategy”, a study published on Malcolm Kerr-Carnegie website on 30 November 2016.

3. Muammar Khouli, “Iranian infiltration into Iraq… motives, forms, and tools of influence”, Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies, Encyclopedia on Iraq (2016).

4. Wasfi Aqeel and Khaled Al-Dabbas, “The Iranian Political Penetration of Arab Neighboring Countries… A Case Study of “Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen”, Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, University of Jordan, Vol. 45, Issue (4) (2018).