Posts Tagged ‘Iraq protest against Iran’s meddling’

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Iraq Protests

People of Iraq Continue to Protest Against Iranian Influence

Iraq Protests

Iraqi students held a series of protest gatherings in Baghdad, Karbala, Maysan, and…, February 16, 2020

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.

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Protests in Iraq

Iraqi Protests Intensify amidst Government Crackdown

Protests in Iraq

Iraqi protesters are being suppressed by the Iranian backed militia as they raise their voice against Iranian mullahs’ meddling in their country.

Widespread protests erupted again in Iraq this weekend as angry citizens flooded the streets to demonstrate against government corruption and Iranian meddling in their country’s affairs. The nationwide uprising continued into this week despite a brutal government crackdown on the protesters triggered by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s decision to withdraw his support for the protests.

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Protests in Iraq

Iraq after Qassem Soleimani

Protests in Iraq

Millions of Iraqis took to streets, demanding a none corrupt government and eviction of the Iranian regime from their country, January 2020

Several hundred, according to some sources, and several thousand, according to other sources, rallied last Friday, January 24 in Baghdad in response to a call for a “million-man strong demonstration against US presence in Iraq” by Moqtada a-Sadr, an Iraqi Shiite firebrand known for his extreme and unforeseeable political positions. In a tweet sent later in the day, Sadr showed his disgust towards the Iraqis who did not take his word for taking part in the rally. From his headquarters back in the city of Qom in central Iran, Moqtada a-Sadr had been preparing the move for several weeks, in a bid to take a leading position in ongoing Iraqi unrest along with Iranian support.

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MEK: Sole Solution to Iraq, Eviction of Iran

MEK: Sole Solution to Iraq, Eviction of Iran

Qasem Soleimani, head of the terrorist Quds Force, discussing Iraq situation with heads of terrorist paramilitary forces in Iraq- File Photo

As uprising mounts in Iraq against corruption and the Iranian regime’s meddling, the situation in this country and especially the rising number of casualties raises international concern. Based on reports from the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi Parliament, up to this time, more than 300 people have been killed and thousands injured.

On November 10, 2019, a Statement from the White House Press Secretary read:

“The United States is seriously concerned by continued attacks against protestors, civic activists, and the media, as well as restrictions on Internet access, in Iraq. Iraqis won’t stand by as the Iranian regime drains their resources and uses armed groups and political allies to stop them from peacefully expressing their views. Despite being targeted with lethal violence and denied access to the Internet, the Iraqi people have made their voices heard, calling for elections and election reforms. The United States joins the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq in calling on the Iraqi government to halt the violence against protesters and fulfill President Salih’s promise to pass electoral reform and hold early elections. We also call on the rest of the international community to join us in supporting a better future for the Iraqi people.”

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in a Tweet on November 5th said:

“The Iraqi and Lebanese people want their countries back. They are discovering that the Iranian regime’s top export is corruption, badly disguised as revolution. Iraq and Lebanon deserve to set their own countries free from Khamenei’s meddling.”

The spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on 8 November 2019:

“We are gravely concerned about continuing reports of deaths and injuries resulting from the use of force by security forces against demonstrators, as well as deliberate killings by armed elements in Iraq. Between 1 October and last night, the Human Rights Office for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq has documented 269 deaths in the context of demonstrations across the country. At least 8,000 others have reportedly been injured, including members of the Iraqi security forces. The exact casualty figures may be much higher.”

Referring to the Paramilitary groups affiliated to the Iranian regime the Spokesperson added:

 “The majority of the casualties have resulted from the use of live ammunition by security forces and armed elements, described by many as private militia groups, as well as the unnecessary, disproportionate or improper use of less-lethal weapons such as tear gas.”

The Sky Press reported that Mrs. Jenine Henis, the UN Special Envoy to Iraq, met Ali Sistani, the highest religious leader, in Iraq on 11 November 2019 in Najaf. This meeting was in relation to the current crisis in Iran.

The Iranian regime considers Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Syria as its “strategic depth”. Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran, has repeatedly said that if the regime does not fight in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen, it has to fight in Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz. Many analysts believe that ceasing the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraq, eventually leads to the collapse of the regime in Tehran.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, warned in 2005 that the danger of the Iranian regime’s meddling in the region was a hundred times worse than its nuclear threat; a sad reality that now the world realizes.

Time and again, the MEK has warned the international community that appeasing mullahs ultimately, emboldens them and pushes the region and the world toward bloodshed that has to be stopped now.

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Protest in Karbala

1000 Iraqis Attack Iran Consulate

Protest in Karbala

Iraqis protesters attacked consulate of the Iranian regime in karbala, October 2019

More than 1000 young Iraqi protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala on Sunday evening, with demonstrators torching the wall outside of the consulate before placing an Iraqi flag on the wall around the consulate.

On the night alone, Iraqi security forces shot dead three protesters and wounded 19 others as the attempted to disperse the protesters, but over 250 people have been killed since the protests began early last month.
The Associated Press reported that security forces in Baghdad have fired tear gas and rubber bullets to keep protesters from breaching the barricades on two main bridges leading to the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the government is headquartered.
The protesters have made clear that one of their major problems is the Iranian regime’s control in Iraq and one of their main demands has been the expulsion of the Iranian regime and its proxy militias from Iraq. The protesters have explained to international media that the Iran-backed government of Iraq is corrupt and kowtows to the mullahs.
The AP said that protesters in southern Iraq attacked the offices of Iran-backed political parties and militias, “setting fire to some of them”, and that the attack on the Iranian consulate in Karbala, located south of Baghdad, is just “the latest sign of mounting anger against Tehran’s involvement in the country’s affairs”.
These protests are bigger in the southern provinces of Iraq because that is where Tehran has the most influence and because Karbala, which is one of the world’s main Shiite pilgrimage sites, holds enormous importance for Iran’s regime.

The Wall Street Journal reported: “Iraqi protesters last year torched the Iranian consulate in Basra in a similar attack, although the protests that triggered it was smaller. The rage against Iran has been fuelled by allegations by human-rights groups that paramilitary groups backed by Tehran have killed and abducted protesters as part of a crackdown by security forces that has killed more than 250 people since the protests started.”
The protesters in Karbala had previously gone out with banners that read: “Iran is the reason for the catastrophe.”
Meanwhile, Iraqi protesters in the holy city of Najaf have also shown their fury at Iranian interference in their country by changing the name of the main street therefrom “Khomeini”, which is the last name of the Iranian regime’s founder and former supreme leader, to “October revolution”.
The protesters’ problems will not end until the Iranian Regime is gone.

Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) time and again warned about the meddling of the Iranian regime in Iraq.

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Iraqis show their anger against the interfere of Iranian regime in their internal affairs

Mullahs Strategic Depth is Collapsing

Iraqis show their anger against the interfere of Iranian regime in their internal affairs

Iraqis show their anger against the interfere of the Iranian regime in their internal affairs, October 2019

In an interview with Fox News, Mark Dubowitz, head of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said that by spending nearly one billion dollars a year to support its terrorist proxy forces, the Iranian regime is the worst state sponsor of terrorism in the world, expanding its malign influence throughout the globe.

He added that the Iranian regime is a military dictatorship that has occupied Iran; Iranian people hate this regime. This regime has spent billions of dollars in supporting the brutality of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The Head of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies concluded that the Iranian authorities try to make nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for delivering them, which beyond terrorism, is a prime threat.

Bryan Hook, U.S. State Department’s special representative for Iran, emphasized the Washington determination in continuing sanctions against the Iranian regime. He added that the Iranian regime has spent 16 billion dollars for its paramilitary groups in Syria and Iraq. Hook believes that sanctions against the Iranian regime are a reflection of the Iranian regime’s measures for destabilizing the region. He added that Washington continues sanctioning the Iranian regime until this regime accepts negotiations for a nuclear deal.

Stressing that sanctions have weakened Iran’s economy compared to two years ago, Mr. Hook said that sanctions have led to the reduction of Iranian oil exports from 2.5 million to 120 thousand barrels a day.

With mounting unrest in Iraq and Lebanon, the Iranian regime witnesses its “Strategic depth” collapsing. It seems that spending billions of dollars in Iraq and Lebanon has been in vain. The biggest blow to Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the regime and Qasem Soleimani, head of the terrorist Quds Force, who spent Iranian wealth on the Hezbullah in Lebanon and paramilitary forces in Iraq, while keeping eighty percent of the Iranian people under the poverty line.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said in 2004 that while their nuclear program has been a strategic means for the mullahs’ survival; however, the regime’s interference in Iraq is a hundred times more dangerous than its nuclear program.

The world has paid a heavy price for the disastrous strategy of the US in the Middle East past years. Millions of people in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen suffered from Iranian terrorism in the region.

Iranians, as well as Iraqis and the people of Lebanon, reject the Iranian regime’s interference.

The religious dictatorship ruling Iran is gripped in profound crises. There is no question that the regime’s days are numbered. In contrast, the democratic alternative is flourishing.

The MEK and Iranians, as well as Iraqis and the people of Lebanon, are determined to get rid of the mullahs building free democratic countries to guarantee peace and co-existence in the region.

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Iraq unrest

Khamenei Breaks Silence on Crises Facing Iran

Iraq unrest

Iraqis took to streets demanding eviction of the Iranian regime from their country, November 2019

Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei broke his two-week silence on the intensifying crises facing the regime in the Middle East, during a ceremony at the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Academy on Wednesday, where he expressed concern about the future of the regime.

In his remarks, Khamenei, on several occasions, addressed the critical state of the Iranian regime and claimed, wrongly, that the “enemies” of the regime were trying to “disrupt” the true interests of the Iranian people.

This is actually an admission that there is great turmoil in the regime at the moment, with the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and other troops, losing confidence in the regime and defecting.

Khamenei addressed this previously on October 2, during a session with IRGC commanders and outright admitted that defections were a major issue; something that is significant because his regime is trying to keep power in Iraq and Lebanon, which it considers its “strategic depth”. You can see how important these two countries are to the Iranian regime because of how much money the regime invests in their proxy militias there.

Khamenei used the same bizarre thought process to talk about the uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon, saying that it was a “conspiracy” by the enemies of the regime “to cause strife and undermine security” and create a power vacuum.

He said: “The people of Iraq and Lebanon should know that their priority should be security. The peoples of these countries should know that their demands can only be met in the context of legal structures.”

It is clear from this comment that he is actually talking about Iranian surrogates, like former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and National Security Advisor Faleh Fayyadh, and terrorist proxies, like the Popular Mobilization Forces, the terrorist Lebanese Hezbollah and its commander Hassan Nasrollah.

Khamenei said that “the enemies had similar plans for Iran”, but failed to note that the Iranian people’s uprising has been going on for nearly two years now. He simply cannot understand that the people of the Middle East don’t like Iranian interference in their affairs.

This only displays the desperate state of this regime, indeed the Shah dictatorship resorted to the same kind of rhetoric linking protests to the “enemy” just before its overthrow. Of course, what is happening in the streets paints a very different picture.

Interestingly, he didn’t comment on theses crises that the regime is dealing with: the growing Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) units’ activities, intensifying Iranian protests against the Iranian regime, the non-ratification of the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing bills required by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), US sanctions, walking away from the nuclear deal, social crises, etc.

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Iraq uprising

MEK-Iran: Iran’s Supreme Leader’s Mouthpiece Calls for Takeover of US Embassy in Iraq

Iraq uprising

Millions of Iraqi people have taken to streets demanding eviction of the Iranian regime from Iraq. (file photo)

On October 30, 2019, the state-run Keyhan daily, known as the government’s mouthpiece called for the takeover of the US Embassy in Baghdad.

Hossein Shariatmadari, editor and representative of Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei in Kayhan newspaper, in its editorial called for the takeover of US Embassy by Iran-backed militias in Iraq, known as “al-Ḥashd ash-Shaʿbī” (also known as “Popular Mobilization Forces”-PMF. PMF along with the criminal ” Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq” another regime proxy which were heavily involved in several massacres of MEK members in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

Shariatmadari whose words reflect Khamenei’s opinions writes:

“in previous note, by mentioning the takeover of US embassy in Iran, which Imam called it the “second revolution”, the issue was raised in the context of a question that why the Iraqi revolutionary youths … are not ending the presence of US embassy in Baghdad, which is the epicenter of conspiracy and espionage against the innocent people of Iraq!? And why are you not eliminating and throwing out this infected wound from your holy land? A takeover of US espionage center in Islamic Iran and eliminating that epicenter of conspiracy had many benefits for us, and then why the revolutionary youths of Iraq deprive their holy land of these benefits?”

One of the main demands of demonstrators in Iraq and Lebanon is the eviction of the Iranian regime and its proxy terrorist militias from their country, to divert the issue, supreme leader of the regime Khamenei, claimed that the protests were inspired by Washington and the Saudis.

Accordingly, in the editorial, Shariatmadari concluded that recent uprising in Iraq has been managed by the US embassy and Saudis, and takeover of the US embassy in Baghdad is the first step to confront the uprising and called on Iran-backed militias in Iraq for the seizure of the Embassy.

What Shariatmadari refers to as “the benefits of the US embassy takeover” goes back to the situation of the regime in 1979. At the time the mullahs needed a major crisis in order to eliminate all the democratic forces in Iran and stabilize their position. By taking over the US embassy and taking 52 personnel of the embassy hostage for 444 days, the mullahs suppressed all the democratic forces and tried to establish a theoretical regime with the absolute rule of the mullahs.

The protests in Iraq and Lebanon threaten the Iranian regime’s regional influence at a time when it is struggling under crippling U.S. sanctions. Since one of the main demands of the demonstrators in Iraq is the eviction of the Iranian regime, its affiliated Shiite parties, and proxy terrorist militias from that country the mullahs are terrified of their position in Iraq.

“During renewed protests this week, men in black plainclothes and masks stood in front of Iraqi soldiers, facing off with protesters and firing tear gas. Residents said they did not know who they were, with some speculating they were Iranians.” AP reported on October 30, 2019, adding: “Iran is afraid of these demonstrations because it has made the most gains in the government and parliament through parties close to it” since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, said Hisham al-Hashimi, an Iraqi security analyst. “Iran does not want to lose these gains. So it has tried to work through its parties to contain the protests in a very Iranian way.”

In southern Iraq, protesters have attacked and torched the offices of political parties and government-backed militias allied with Iran.

“All the parties and factions are corrupt, and this is connected to Iran because it’s using them to try and export its system of clerical rule to Iraq,” said Ali al-Araqi, a 35-year-old protester from the southern town of Nasiriyah, which has seen especially violent clashes between protesters and security forces.

“The people are against this, and that is why you are seeing an uprising against Iran,” he said.

Overnight Tuesday, masked men who appeared to be linked to Iraq’s security forces opened fire on protesters in Karbala, a holy city associated with the martyrdom of one of the most revered figures in Shiite Islam. At least 18 protesters were killed and hundreds were wounded in bloodshed that could mark an ominous turning point in the demonstrations. In Baghdad, protesters burned an Iranian flag. Days earlier, protesters had gathered outside the Iranian Consulate in Karbala, chanting “Iran, out, out!” AP reported.

In such circumstances, the regime needs to resort to violence and to suppress the demonstrators by its militias and affiliated Shiite parties.

By raising the issue of the US embassy takeover in Baghdad, Khamenei is trying to bully the Western governments to turn a blind eye to crimes of its proxy forces and militias in Iraq, so the regime and its affiliated forces could freely suppress the uprising.


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Iranian regime's consulate in Basra set to fire by angry Iraqi protesters

Iraqi Protesters Set Fire to Iranian Regime Consulate

Iranian regime's consulate in Basra set to fire by angry Iraqi protesters

The Iranian regime’s consulate in Basra burned during the growing protests in the city against the Iranian regime’s meddling in Iraqi affairs

On Friday, hundreds of Iraqi protesters stormed the Iranian consulate in the southern province of Basra, setting fire to the building. Protests have been raging in Basra for the past four days and have become increasingly violent, with at least ten deaths reported so far.

The protesters gathered outside of the Iranian consulate on Friday night, chanting, “Iran, out, out!” They then rushed the building, setting it aflame and burning an Iranian flag.

The demonstrations are in response to systemic government corruption, rampant unemployment, and insufficient public services. Many residents of Basra, which has a mostly Shiite population, blame Iranian-backed political parties for interfering with Iraqi politics. The Iraqi people consider the Iranian regime’s proxies responsible for the city’s mismanagement and poor public services.

The Iranian consulate is located in the upscale neighborhood of al-Bardaiya, southeast of the center of Basra. There were additional reports of protesters marching toward the city’s presidential palaces. Protests have been taking place in Basra and other cities in Iraq’s oil-rich southern Shiite heartland since July.

Conflicting reports have emerged about the number of casualties that have occurred since the protests began. At least ten protesters were killed in clashes with security forces since Monday. Three of the protesters were shot by security forces on Thursday night during a skirmish in which protesters threw Molotov cocktails into a government building and Shiite militia offices, setting them ablaze. Other reports say that both police and civilians have been killed in the protests. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has ordered an investigation into the violent protests, which are still ongoing.

The temporary head of Iraq’s parliament, the eldest lawmaker, called an emergency meeting to address the escalating protests.

Bahram Ghasemi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, condemned the attack on the consulate. He said that none of the staff had been injured so far but that the building was significantly damaged, according to Iranian state TV.

Earlier this week, Iraq’s newly-elected parliament held its first session since the national elections in May. The session was adjourned amid disagreements over which of its two blocs had the right to form a new government. Both blocs claimed to hold the most seats.

The new parliament must both rebuilt northern Iraq, which was devastated in the war against the Islamic State, and repair services in southern Iraq, where serious water and electricity shortages have caused protests.

A coalition led by al-Abadi and Moqtada al-Sadr is backed by the United States and Saudi Arabia, while an alliance between former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and militia leader Hadi al-Ameri is supported by the Iranian regime.

Both alliances are dominated by Shiites, who have been the dominant power in Iraq since Saddam Hussein was removed from power in 2003. The largest Sunni blocs support al-Abadi and al-Sadr. The Kurdish parties have not chosen a side.

The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a spiritual leader from the Shiite community, condemned the violence against peaceful protesters during the Friday prayers sermon and called for the speedy formation of a new government that can effectively manage the challenges facing Iraq.

The MEK and the Iranian opposition leader, Maryam Rajavi,  have long opposed the Iranian regime’s policy of expansionism and meddling in Iraq.

Staff Writer

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