ANALYSIS: How to protect Iraq from Iranian influence

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Tehran on June 20 2017. (AFP)

Dark history

Ever since 2003, with a surge beginning under al-Maliki’s watch, Iran has flooded its western border neighbor with financial, logistical and manpower resources, spearheaded by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

War against ISIS

The defeat of ISIS must not be considered the end of the nightmare. Far from it. General Stephen Townsend, commander of the coalition forces against ISIS, recently emphasized the importance of all Iraqi parties reaching a political consensus in the post-ISIS stage.

The hidden occupation

On a side-note, the internal sectarian drives in Iraq are not be considered the result of an especially bloody history. Iraq’s conglomerate of communities experienced peaceful coexistence for over a millennium.

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Members of Popular Mobilization hold portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini ©, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during a parade marking the annual al-Quds Day in Baghdad on June 23, 2017. (Reuters)

Independent figure

Despite all the flaws in the campaign against ISIS, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has the potential to be pulled out of Iran’s influence and act as an independent figure. This is especially true as he has stood in the face of Iran’s pressures, while there remains far more necessary cleansing of the mullahs’ influence in Iraq.

Steps ahead

Iraq now lays in devastation and the road ahead will be difficult. This country needs the correct support from its well-meaning neighbors — not the regime in Iran — and the international community to once again stand on its own and play its expected part in today’s world.

Written by

I’m a human rights activist who is trying to establish democracy, freedom, and justice in Iran. https://about.me/m.dalvand

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