They not-so-subtly filled the power vacuum in this country after the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the then-administration of the United States and the Iran-subservient government in Iraq. But today, Iraq’s young generation are determined to take back their country.
The popular protests that broke out against corruption, unemployment, and lack of public services, immediately backlashed by Iran-back militias. Chief of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force Qasem Soleimani rapidly traveled to Iraq and employed snipers and black-masked plainclothes agents to crack down on Iraqi protests.
Khamenei’s illusion and Iraqis’ response
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s interference in Iraqi affairs on October 2 caused outrage among Iraqis and touched off a new round of demonstrations against Iran’s meddling. In fact, while his regime responds to any demand and grievance of the Iranian people with an iron fist, Khamenei emerged as the lord of Iraq and claimed that the Iraqi and Lebanese people have the right to pursue their “legitimate demands”.
The truth is, the fed-up people of Iraq and Lebanon, of course, didn’t wait for Iran’s Supreme Leader’s fatwa. Nevertheless, Ali Khamenei immediately considered that “The peoples of these countries should know that their demands can only be met in the context of legal structures.” Then, he ordered his surrogates under the name of “Iraqi and Lebanese people” to quell protests, saying: “The people of Iraq and Lebanon should know that their priority should be security.”
Contrary to Khamenei’s illusion, these interventions angered the patriotic emotions of different strata of Iraq’s society. In this regard, the volume of anti-Iran rhetoric grew considerably. Wrathful demonstrators slapped the portraits of Ali Khamenei and Qasem Soleimani with their shoes and chanted “Iran out, out, Baghdad remains free.” Therefore, Iraqi people well discovered that the main reason for their catastrophic conditions is the Iranian regime and its surrogates who turned Iraq into an Iranian vassal.
The anti–Iranian regime demonstrations continued over most Shiite-dominated provinces for as long as five days after Khamenei’s remarks. Outraged protesters struck at the Iranian regime’s consulate in the Shiite city of Karbala. They torched part of the building in addition to bringing down the mullahs’ flag and raising Iraq’s flag instead.
After 16 years, Iraq enters in a new phase
16 years earlier, the Iraqi soil was plowed during a “dumb war.” Later, seeds of fundamentalism and extremism imported by contenders of the caliphate either Shiite [the Iranian regime] or Sunni [Al-Qaeda]. Weeds nipped and covered by sucking the Iraqi people’s blood and mired the country in the worst bloodshed of its history. However, today, consecutive protests in different Iraqi provinces indicate that these people aim to take back and free their country from the non-so-covert occupation of Iran’s regime. No need to say that this outcome has severely terrified the religious fascism in Iran because it will become a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope not only for the people of the region but also for the Iranian people.