On October 30, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei rudely alleged Iraqi and Lebanese demonstrators are backed by the United States, Israel, and various Arab states. “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,” Khamenei said.

Khamenei’s claims enflamed protests in southern Iraq, 

where the fed-up people torched the headquarters of parties and militias linked to Iran. Wrathful demonstrators determined and called on each other to cut off Iranian authorities’ meddling in their country’s affairs. They stormed the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Baghdad. In Karbala, which Ayatollahs consider a launchpad for establishing their long-time dream a “Shiite Crescent”, demonstrators flooded the streets, tore up and slapped the portraits of Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani with their shoes as a sign of anger and insult. They also surrounded Iran’s consulate in this holy city and brought down and torched the Islamic Republic’s flag and replaced it with the Iraqi flag.

Notably, Khamenei in his latest speech did not mention “Iraq” even once, which shows that he well understands the message of Iraqi’s shoes.

For many years,

the Iranian Opposition warned about the danger of Iran’s fundamentalism and meddling in Iraq. Indeed, they call time and again for the adoption of a firm policy against the Iranian state’s meddling in the Middle East at all and especially neighboring countries, especially Iraq. “The danger of the mullahs dominating Iraq was a hundred times more dangerous than the nuclear threat posed by Tehran,” the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran Mrs. Maryam Rajavi emphasized in 2003.

Mrs. Rajavi also underscored, “The negative consequences of the mullahs’ losing Iraq are a hundred times more lethal than their retreat in the nuclear arena.” Now and after 16 years, the time has proven the accuracy of the Iranian opposition’s concerns. However, the negligence about Iran’s influence in Iraq brought out terrible disasters for this country, to the extent that today the Iraqi people feel “The Iranian Embassy controls the government and they are the ones repressing the demonstrators,” as Hassanein Ali, 35, said to Washington Post’s reporter in Baghdad. Therefore, this is the time to the international community, particularly European Union State Members, to stop turning a blind eye to the Iranian government’s influence in the region and force the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism to change its

behavior. However, “There is no difference between regime change and changing behavior” as Khamenei admitted on May 10, 2018.