Iranian influence in Iraq no longer is cut short to scattered pictures of Iranian Supreme Leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei; for now it has expanded to setting new institutions acting as medium for Iranian influence under the name of “charity organizations” claiming to help Iraqi women and children. Note that most of such institutes cluster in areas with Shi’ite populous.
One of the most prominent alleged charity centers is The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation whose centers are dispersed throughout areas like Cities of Sadr, Kadhimiya, Al-Shu’ala neighborhood, and Karkh. Iranian charity organizations have also spread in terms of establishing Iranian-based schools in overcrowded Shi’ite slums, Iranian influence reached a point were certain areas are being called “the Iranian yard”. Those areas firsthand view an intensity of Iranian culture all over its hotels, coffee shops, and markets.
Um Jafar, a lady working at The Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation revealed that an all-girls school in Kadhimiya has breached the context of academic teaching to broach the indoctrination of Iranian Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists, better known by Wilayat al Faqih to its attending students.
Besides asking to be called um Jafar, the foundation worker told Asharq Al-Awsat that schools affiliated with the Khomeini Foundation work on endorsing Iranian policy in addition to promoting that Shi’ites everywhere have no other choice but following the Iranian Supreme Leader, and that other religious reference are inept. The foundation also works on downplaying any other Shi’ite religious reference, like Ali al-Sistani in Iraq (Shi’ite Marja), as to gather all Shi’ites into one herd-like crowd shepherded by Iranian stance.
Iraqi women are lured into the facilities under the assumption of their academic value, given that the foundation promises to provide craftsmanship lessons and many other programs that enable self-support.
Women are also being promised supporting reimbursements, which stand to be very tempting for any woman, especially to the thousands of widows and divorcees, experiencing the difficult close-to-poor Iraqi civil economy.
Most of women joining the programs are mainly interested in benefiting from getting an education on ways to help support their families, and disregard the political recruitment. They simply want to work, and know how to do so.
Um Jafar explained that learning Farsi (Persian language) is mandatory at such institutions, and is taught by Iraqi tutors whom have studied in Iran. Despite that the program offers workshops on hairdressing, computer navigation basics, knitting and tailoring, in addition to seminars on preparing young single ladies to become better future wives and mothers in accordance to what religious men believe, it remains difficult to understand the relevance of learning Farsi.
Moreover, to be eligible to work at such foundations, one is first conditioned to visit Iran. Anyone willing, will be given a tour around communities in Iran to establish the basis on which what the Iraqi community, or whichever community, should be turned into.
The person is also subjected to several courses and sessions before deemed suitable for dispatch and employment.
Throughout the trip, which is set to enrich the culture of future foundation workers, lectures will be given on the Iraq’s strategic advantage lying with Iran and no other Arabian Sunni country, which are falsely portrayed to hold ill intentions for Iraq. The importance of referring to Iran as a set-in-stone ideal community is also stressed.
Other ladies, who requested anonymity, have testified that after landing the opportunity of working at the foundation , for a hefty salary, they were faced with striking truths on the true nature of the recruitment going on, which went against all their national morale and love for their country . They later were forced to leave Iraq to look for jobs elsewhere.