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The magnitude of Iranian interference in Iraqi internal affairs is no longer a hidden secret and it is public knowledge that the current Iranian diplomatic offices in Iraq are affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the military body of the Iranian revolution. As if Iraq does not endure enough frivolity at the hands of the American occupation and the naivety of the Iraqi administration, it also suffers from the sectarian and politicized Iranian interference in the country, adding to the wounds by further bloodshed and agony. Such interference is evident through various forms, from the employment of certain figures to highly sensitive positions to adopting policies that are grave and influential.

In the past, a number of figures that were considered members of the Iraqi Dawa Party have enjoyed the support and protection of Iranian authorities during the rule of Saddam Hussein. Among the most prominent of such figures are Abdul Aziz al Hakim, Nuri al Maliki and Ibrahim al Jaafari. Nevertheless, Iranian surprises in Iraq continue one after another. Recently, Sadeq al Musawi, the senior media official of the Iraqi government admitted that his real name is Tariq Hisham Matar and that he submitted a request for Iraqi citizenship in 2004. Furthermore, there are rumors of another official in the current Iraqi government whose real name is Karim Shahburi and that the real name of one of the officials who attended the execution of Saddam Hussein is Ali Yazdi.

The policy of interference in Iraq in particular and in many other countries in the region in general is supported by the current status of Iran as a result of revenues from the rise in oil prices. However, these prices are in continuous decline and the imminent economic disorder is not confined to this factor only. There are a number of pivotal and substantial points that will play a noticeable role in the economic future of Iran. The most prominent of these points is the sharp decline in the rates of oil production as the majority of production comes from oil wells that have been in service for over fifty years. The main wells will be reduced at a rate of 13% annually; moreover, Iran had not been able to develop its infrastructure in the oil sector and what has been invested there is considered insignificant in comparison to what is actually required. In turn, this increases pressure on Iranian politicians as well as on those who export its ideology who feel the urge to intensify their presence in regions of influence. The opening for economic opportunities, which enables Iran to have more influence and increase authority for its allies, has become limited and dependent upon the price of oil. Iran has a project in the region. Its basic project is to transform the Middle East into a place where its ideological and cultural project can be spread, whether through an Iraqi government that will be completely subjected to Iran as its main religious reference, or through ardent organizations in other parts of the world that play the role of “the dissident partner” to strengthen Tehran’s influence in the region.

There comes one image after another and information after information that emphasize the magnitude of Iranian ambitions in the region and it is visible that its supports resistance and the nuclear project. However, its distinct signs that cannot be ignored are the seditions in Palestine and Lebanon, sectarianism in Iraq, interference in Bahrain and Sudan, and occupation in the United Arab Emirates.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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