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The Iranians Have Done Good in Iraq - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The title of this article is not for provocation, but it is the truth. It is possible to look at Iran’s occupation of the Fakka oil well located 300 meters within Iraqi territory that began on Thursday [and ended today] from two angles; firstly from an international angle, however what really concerns us here is the Iraqi angle.

The Iranian movement within Iraqi territory with regards to occupying Fakka Oil Well No.4 and flying the Iranian flag over it comes at a time when party alliances and [political] blocs belonging to well-known Iraqi political leaders are being formed in the run-up to the elections. More than this, there is the sectarian division which is a major part of Iraq’s problems. This event also came at the same time that Baghdad is experiencing bad diplomatic relations with its Arab neighbors, and the reason for this is the Baghdad government’s embrace of Iran.

Therefore the 11 Iranian soldiers who occupied the Iraqi oil well may have provided an important service to Iraq and the Iraqi people without knowing it. This Iranian occupation of an Iraqi oil well represents an account statement to those in Iraq today, for this allows the Iraqis to discover which of their politicians supports Iraq’s interests and Iraqi unity and the integrity of its territory, and is prepared to defend this, and which of its politicians swallows their tongues and remains silent in the face of this new Iranian aggression, or even attempted to justify and explain this.

Accurate and informed observers know that the Iranians are plaguing Iraq in the same way that dental decay plagues teeth, and at all levels, culturally, politically, economically, and of course with regards to security and more as well. However the Iraqis, or some of those Iraqis outside of the country, do not hear anything from Iraqi politicians other than complaints about “neighboring countries” or talk about Syria, particularly from Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Of course we are not concerned here with defending Damascus, for the Syrians have their own problems, and they are the masters of making problems. However Mr. Al-Maliki’s outburst against Syria, and particularly its intensity, is suspicious, especially since we have not heard anything similar from al-Maliki or his aides with regards to what Iran is doing in Iraq.

From here, following the Iranian occupation of the Iraqi oil well, Tehran has allowed the Iraqis to find out which of their politicians dares to criticize Tehran, not for the sake of criticism but in order to defend Iraqi territory. Therefore the Iraqis today know which of their politician dares to speak, and point the finger of accusation at Tehran, even with just one word. This is important, especially as some in Iraq said that Baghdad would only use diplomatic means to resolve this “infiltration” and this is something that was also an Iranian demand. This was misleading, as the goal [of this statement] was to reduce the seriousness of the situation in the eyes of the [Iraqi] citizens, and spare the blushes of Iraqi officials.

Therefore we say to the Iraqis that every cloud has a silver lining, and they must monitor their politicians to see which of them remained silent, or even tried to justify Iran’s occupation of an Iraqi oil well, and to see [which politicians] support Iraq, and its territorial integrity and stability. The Iraqis must also monitor their media to find out who are the pro-Iran writers and journalists in the Iraqi media, for this is essential due to the important forthcoming elections, and what Iran has done with this Iraqi oil well may help in revealing the positions of many Baghdad politicians.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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