Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Dangers of Iranian Meddling in Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Friends returning from southern Iraq tell with bitterness of flagrant Iranian meddling as Tehran”s funds and intelligence officers continue to pour into the country in coordination with a number of allied Iraqi groups. Strange testimony depicts a picture where the Islamic Republic”s influence is so pervasive its agents have taken to appointing employees, monitoring political opponents and financing parties in the region.

A few courageous Iraqis have objected to this intervention but they remain isolated; the Iraqi government is weak and groups supported by Tehran are working discreetly to consolidate Iran’s presence. Meanwhile, the Arab world remains silent despite the breadth of evidence available.

The Islamic Republic is manipulating the turbulent security situation in Baghdad to further its own aims and consolidate its presence in southern Iraq.

Iraq is in desperate need of an independent electoral coalition representing all political persuasions but devoid of religious and political elements whose parties have shown a lack of vision and a dangerous sectarian outlook, as they remain gripped by internal conflicts. In the last election, a number of parties formed a coalition but could not overcome their divisions.

The upcoming elections in Iraq are a rare chance for all the forces of peace and goodwill to unite and form a government of national unity including all parties devoid of sectarian affiliation and foreign influence, especially in relation to Iran. Such a union should provide the people of Iraq with a human and civilized alternative to the grim reality of divisions, archaic language, and coalitions based on personal gain and not the country’s best interests.

Sectarian powers have proved they are incapable of dealing with reality, concentrating instead on advancing their own interests to the detriment of Iraq. Despite not being a viable entity, an Iranian mini state in the south would represent an unmitigated disaster. Iraq will have to pay a heavy price to ensure this design fails, in addition to all the lives lost so far.