MEK Iran: Southern Iraq protests the influence of the Iranian regime
The Muharram mourning ceremony is a commemorative ritual that is practiced by Shia Muslims. It marks the anniversary of the death of the third Shi’ite Imam, Hossain-ibn Ali almost fourteen centuries ago. He fought for freedom and was martyred by the forces of the second Umayyad caliph near the city of Karbala. The people of Iraq used this event to honor Hossain-ibn Ali’s legacy by protesting against the Iranian regime and the presence of its terrorist agents in Iraq.
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) November 8, 2019
The Iranian regime has continuously attempted to exert influence over Iraq, to promote its belligerent policies and in doing so have wasted the Iranian people’s national wealth. The threat of violence from the terrorist practices of the regime has kept a hold on Iraq, denying the people of their freedom.
There has been an ongoing uprising in Iraq since 1 October 2019 during which the Iraqi people have taken part in marches, demonstrations and sit-ins. During the Muharram mourning ceremonies, they held pictures of those who have been killed during the uprising, which is currently at around 700 people. The Iranian regime’s terrorist agents have supported these killings and have been assassinating activists since the beginning of the Iraq uprising.
After the second Gulf War, the regime used the opportunity to further its influence on Iraq. In recent years it has gradually claimed more power in Iraq and has manipulated the country to spread terrorism, such as aiding Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria. The Iranian regime has also used terrorist tactics against Iraq’s coalition forces and citizens as an extortion tool.
The regime has endeavored, through its proxy groups and agents, including the former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri-al Maliki, to present as though it has the support of all Shi’ite Muslims. However, the uprising of the Iraqi people, in cities where there is a Shi’ite majority in the population, demonstrates that this support is false. The Iraqi people are protesting the Iranian regime’s use of Shiism to impose a deadly presence in Iraq. The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) has called for the international community to oppose the Iranian regime’s terrorism in Iraq.
How the Irian regime influences Iraq
The 1 October 2020 marked the seventh anniversary of the 1 September 2013 massacre in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Iraqi forces killed 52 unarmed members of the MEK, under the order of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. Many MEK members in Iraq have been targeted over the years by the influence of the Iranian regime. The mullahs orchestrated for their terrorist agents or the Iraqi army, formerly under the command of Nuri-al Maliki, to carry out these attacks.
On 15 November 2015, a report by The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed that the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, acts as a secret governor of Iraq. The report stated that Masjedi was a key figure in forming Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force (PMF). Masjedi outlined the PMF’S actions as those of “a force strictly following the Supreme Leader,” which has to be at his service, as well as the “sacred causes of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a branch of the Iranian armed forces, have called the PMF “Iraq’s Revolutionary Guards” and said that “Popular Mobilization Force is the same as the Basij forces in Iran.”
The report read: “Masjedi fully supervised the PMF’s paramilitary troops entering the Sunni zones and massacring their residents under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Human Rights organizations and international media revealed details of these killings,”
“It is clear that the Iranian regime’s ambassador to Iraq, Iraj Masjedi, is Khamenei’s secret governor of Iraq. And as a top Quds Force commander, he is clearly the regime’s most important person in Iraq. Together, these positions provide him with both the authority and the diplomatic cover to order his agents to massacre the people of Iraq when their public demonstrations present a challenge to Iran’s influence,” the NCRI’s report continued.
Since the Iraqi people’s uprising at the beginning of October 2019, the influence of the Iranian regime in Iraq is beginning to decline. This was marked by the elimination of Qassem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force Commander, and the highest official exporting terrorism in the Iranian regime. The recent protests further reinforce that the grip of the Iranian regime on Iraq is loosening and the power structure is ready to collapse.