By Mohammad Mazhari

S. Arabia trying to approach Shia groups in Iraq to undermine Iran: Iraqi analyst 

February 16, 2021 - 22:33

TEHRAN – An Iraqi political analyst says that Saudi Arabia is trying to approach Shia parties in Iraq to restrain Hashd al-Shaabi and undermine Iran.

“In the recent period they (Saudis) have approached some Shia political groups, especially the Islamic ones, to influence the Iraqi political decision,” Ali Fahim tells the Tehran Times.

These attempts “were clearly reflected in the political positions of these (Iraqi) figures and blocs, with regard to the future of the Hashd al-Shaabi, confronting terrorism and the position on the October movement as well as other issues that may affect Saudi Arabia, the main suspect in supporting Daesh,” Fahim explains.

The following is the text of the interview:

Q: How do you see America's record when it comes to fighting terrorism in Iraq?

A: We must first know America’s view towards the concept of terrorism before we talk about its strategy in confronting this phenomenon. We will not need much effort to clarify this.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump summed it up when he said, “We will protect America from extremist Islamic terrorism.”

It is an abstract of the philosophy of Huntington, the American philosopher who put forward the theory of the Clash of Civilizations through which he nominated Islam as a potential enemy before Western civilization in response to Fukuyama's theory of “The end of history” which heralded the victory and hegemony of Western civilization after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

That is why the world entered a phase of wars against Muslims after the September 11 attacks as America invaded Muslim countries in their own house under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

It was the start of a new wave of American occupations in the Middle East (West Asia) especially in Iraq and Afghanistan after it consolidated its military presence in the Persian Gulf.

America and the West have worked to link terrorism to Islam through media and through recruiting movements claiming Islam in order to distort the image of Islam through criminal acts that serve the interests of the West more than others.

Meanwhile, these movements offended Islam that was created to justify attacks on true and authentic Islam.  As a result, Islam is stuck in a defensive position instead of promoting its divine thoughts needed for all humanity.

That is why the history of America's confrontation with terrorism in Iraq is full of selective narratives and lies. The terrorist groups that America claims to fight are the product of the extremist Wahhabi ideology, which emerged from the country of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, Saudi Arabia, which America protects and sponsors.

The establishment of the Arab Mujahideen group that changed into Al Qaeda in Afghanistan at the hands of the American intelligence services and Saudi money to confront the Soviet Union is an undeniable fact.

America also made the Islamic State (Daesh) in its prisons in Iraq by recruiting former Iraqi intelligence officers and attracting extremists from all countries in the world in order to put an end to two countries as planned, namely Syria and Iraq. This is what Trump and Hillary Clinton have admitted clearly.

In this context, America's behavior is understandable when it collaborates with Daesh (ISIS) in protecting its members in the Al-Tanf area on the Syrian-Iraqi border and did not allow Iraqi aircraft to fly over this area or for Hashd al-Shaabi (popular mobilization units) to approach it.

Add to this what was reported by some websites about U.S. CH-47 Chinook aircraft, when they were sending logistical support for Daesh or rescuing its leaders who were besieged by Hashd al-Shaabi forces and the Iraqi army.

 The last case being reported in the media was about transferring Daesh prisoners in Qasd jails to Iraqi borders and other data that show the American role in directing these groups and making use of them for strategic goals that serve the satanic projects in the region.

Q: Washington doesn’t spare any effort to distort Iran's image in Iraq. It portrays Iran as a country that is sponsoring and supporting corrupt groups opposing transparency. What is your comment?

A: American strategic hostility to the Islamic Republic of Iran, when it lost its ally in the Persian Gulf (the Shah) after the Islamic revolution in 1979, is not hidden.

“The terrorist groups that America claims to fight are the product of the extremist Wahhabi ideology, which emerged from the country of Muhammad Abdul Wahhab, Saudi Arabia, which America protects and sponsors.”That is why America worked to restore those authorities who were servicing its agenda in Iran by hard power through pushing Saddam to ignite the eight-year war (on Iran) beside the sanctions that it continues to impose on the Iranian people.

The U.S. plot represented in the emergence of Daesh created by the Americans to serve their strategically in the region, Israel, has failed.

The elimination of two countries (Iraq and Syria) that pose an existential threat to the Zionist state was thwarted despite the enemy's strength and violence, and this victory is due to three elements that Shias possess in Iraq: Iran’s support, the religious authorities, and Hashd al-Shaabi.

 That is why America has modified its strategy heading towards soft power in order to isolate these factors from their public depth.

The post-Daesh phase was the demonization of Iran, Hashd al-Shaabi, and the religious authorities to empty them of their power through yellow journalism and fake news. Baathists were a good base for America, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to achieve their goals in Iraq because they are full of hatred towards the Islamic Republic.

They made every effort to demonize Iran during the eight-year war on the Islamic Republic, counting on a generation of young people affected by the media that is one element of American soft power. Many of the youth in Iraq are unemployed and are looking for an opportunity to improve their situation in addition to the great corruption in all the institutions of the state.

Ruling parties also failed to tackle the crisis properly and soundly, and the majority of them are pragmatic parties looking for their partisan interests at the expense of the interest of the country.
 The American media held Iran responsible for everything that happens in Iraq especially the corruption of the ruling political parties, even though most of them are following the Saudi and American policies.

Q: What are the latest developments regarding the parliamentary elections in Iraq? What are the most prominent differences between political parties?

A: Although the replacement of the previous government that was headed by Adel Abdul Mahdi came under the condition that early elections be held on June 6th, it was postponed to the tenth of October after a request from the election commission to complete the registration of new political entities, distribute electoral cards and secure international monitoring.

The Iraqi constitution does not explain early elections, so if early elections are to be held, Article 64 of the constitution must be applied, which mentions two ways to dissolve the parliament. 

The parliament can be dissolved by an absolute majority of the parliament members based on a request of one-third of its members, or at the request of the prime minister after the approval of the president, and the parliament may not be dissolved during the period of questioning the prime minister.

Upon the dissolution of the parliament, the president calls for general elections in the country within a maximum period of sixty days from the date of the dissolution, and the government in this case is considered resigned and continues to run daily affairs.

There are many data indicating that the government is not serious about conducting the elections. The parliament hosted the election commission in October and asked them about the possibility of conducting the elections technically. They emphasized that they did not receive any financial allocation even though the government submitted internal borrowing requests and it did not include any allocations to the commission.
The government also provided the financing bill, and it did not include any allocation to the commission until November.

There is a high possibility that the elections will not be held on time so that the government and the influential blocs can exploit the government resources, especially the Kurdish blocs that could never imagine it. The government is striving hard to employ loyal persons in leadership positions and the process of changes and replacements is going, especially in military and security posts.

Q: How does Saudi Arabia seek to influence political parties in Iraq?

A: After the change that took place in Iraq in 2003, Saudi Arabia dealt with Iraq in a completely hostile attitude, disconnection, political isolation and coldness in relations, especially with heads of governments that it dealt with based on its sectarian policies.

Despite its continuous denial of interference in Iraqi affairs, Saudi Arabia, according to much evidence, sponsored terrorism that swept Iraq, especially after the emergence of Daesh.

Former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi explicitly stated that five thousand Saudi suicide bombers blew themselves up in Iraqi cities in addition to finding cars with Saudi number plates.

 Not to mention the Saudi media's support for terrorism by calling Daesh “tribal revolutionaries”.

But in the recent period, they have approached some Shia political groups, especially the Islamic ones, to influence the Iraqi political decision.

This process represented in shuttle visits by the leaders of these parties to Saudi Arabia, and this was clearly reflected in the political positions of these figures and blocs, with regard to the future of Hashd al-Shaabi, confronting terrorism and the position on the October movement as well as other issues that may affect Saudi Arabia, the main suspect in supporting Daesh.

Riyadh legally bears responsibility for thousands of suicide bombers who have committed crimes that are categorized under human genocide against a certain component of the Iraqi people.

That is why these blocs, which were supposed to represent the masses of the victims, did not accept to file a complaint against Saudi Arabia internationally to compensate the families of the victims, as was the case with the U.S. Jasta law that held Saudi Arabia responsible for the events of the September 11 attacks.

Q: What are the challenges that threaten democracy in Iraq and what is the role of religious authorities in protecting Iraqi democracy?

A: The Iraqi experience of democracy despite the passage of eighteen years (since Saddam was toppled), has been companied by many failures and challenges, especially with the conditions that Iraq has gone through since the American invasion and what preceded it in terms of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the emergence of political money to strongly exploit the needs of the poor segment of this nation as some exploited political ignorance and lack of awareness to direct and engineer the elections and through the yellow press.

These factors came to kill the democratic experiment in Iraq by spreading the spirit of despair in the hearts of the masses until they reached the point of wishing for a military coup to save them from the tragic situation.

Indeed, there were attempts to achieve these goals but they failed due to the existence of religious authorities which played a productive role to maintain democracy and preventing the country from returning to an era of dictatorship.

The biggest challenges in the upcoming elections will be the emergence of gangs that impose their wills and understanding on people through threat, force, and physical liquidation, based on the October movement.

Many of these gangs have declared not to allow candidates from parties with which they disagree, accusing them of corruption, lacking patriotism, sublimity, and other charges, to run in the election.
This case only occurred in areas formerly controlled by Daesh, but this time it is expanding in Shia areas.


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