People of Iraq Continue to Protest Against Iranian Influence
Over the weekend, students gathered in cities across Iraq as arranged previously with the October Demonstration Committee. Large numbers of students participated and they made their major concerns heard.
Protesters were rejecting the “National Salvation Council”, saying that it is something that the Iranian regime has plotted to extend its influence. The October Demonstration Committee also affirmed that it, and the people of Iraq, denounce the regime’s plans and its objectives that can only be described as suspicious.
The students protested against the presence of the Iranian regime in internal politics and they complained about the widespread corruption within the political system. They also deplored the candidatures of the political elite that are allowing Iran to infiltrate the country’s government even more than it already has.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) February 17, 2020
Iran-backed militias have been working on behalf of Iran for quite some time now. They are carrying out tasks that allow the Iranian regime to get a tighter grasp on power in the country and they are trying to put rifts between the people.
Protests in the southern area of Iraq have been ongoing, and the students and young people protesting this weekend expressed their solidarity.
Many of Iran’s local militia groups have been taking extensive efforts to break up the protests and to threaten the protesters into leaving. However, the protesters have been defiant despite the violence and brutality that they are faced with. Members of militias have been entering protest sites and setting fire to their tents.
As we have seen with the recent protests in Iran, the protesters in Iraqi cities are also experiencing a brutal response on the part of the authorities. Protesters and militia groups clashed. Eye-witnesses are saying that the Iran-backed militias have been using smoke bombs, tear gas and hunting rifles.
There have been reports of injuries and deaths, but the figures remain shrouded in secrecy.
The Iranian regime’s meddling is a big problem in the region. However, the Iranian regime relies on its activities abroad to ensure that it stays in power. It needs to expand its influence abroad because it is in a desolate situation at home.
— MEK Iran (Mujahedin-e Khalq) (@MEK_Iran) February 15, 2020
International pressure, however, is finally being put on the Iranian regime that has spent far too many years basking in impunity. Former US President Barack Obama promised that his policies of appeasement towards Iran would result in the mullahs becoming more moderate. However, appeasement has had the exact opposite effect. The mullahs became even bolder in its belligerence because it was not being held accountable.
The tide is changing for the regime and the international pressure, coupled with the intense domestic pressure that the people are applying, is sure to bring change. And soon.
All the people of Iran are asking for is freedom, democracy, peace and the respect of human rights. They are legitimate demands that deserve support from the international community, especially those countries that place so much importance on the values of democracy and human rights. So far, the people of Iran have been relatively alone in their quest.