The Iranian Threat
Quds Force Commander Secretly Working in Baghdad to Preserve Iranian Influence

Reuters said in its analysis that although Iraqi voters had announced through the polls that it would reject its ally- Iran in Iraq, "Tehran can still fight for its influence" there.

"Iraqi voters have sharply reprimanded their ally Iran's in the election, but easing the Shiite militias' grip on control of the country will remain a politically sensitive target with a constant threat of violence," On the part of these militias, it was written in the agency's analysis.

The analysis shows that Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr (who launched a campaign against Iranian influence) obtained the highest percentage of seats according to Sunday's election results, saying the result was a "people's victory over... the militias."

However, there are still indications of the continuation of Tehran's great influence in Iraq, as former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki "a friend of Tehran's, achieved significant sudden achievements, reaching third place in the rankings of the winners."

A Western diplomat told Reuters that the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Ismail Khani, was in Baghdad when the initial results were published and was still looking for a way to keep Tehran's allies in power in Iraq.

"According to our information, Khani attended a meeting with (Shiite militia parties) on Monday. They will do everything in their power to try to organize the largest bloc, although with Sadr's influence it will be very difficult," the diplomat added.

Both Tehran and Baghdad have publicly denied that Khani is in Iraq, but two Iranian sources contacted by Reuters have confirmed this.

The Iranian-backed militia commander said armed organizations were willing to use force if necessary to ensure they did not lose influence after what they saw as "dirty elections," according to Reuters.

"We will use the law in the meantime," he said. "If that does not work, we will have to take to the streets and do the same thing that happened to us during the demonstrations", that is, burn down houses.

Hamdi Malik, an expert on Iraqi Shiite militias at the Washington Institute, told Reuters that al-Maliki spent a lot of money on election campaigns and tried to gather military forces, emphasizing his image as a strong leader.

A senior member of the Bader party, which has long been one of the main pro-Iranian factions, believes one of the reasons for the drop in the militia 'Fatah' bloc is that its supporters gave their votes to Maliki, given that it could serve as a more effective wall against al-Sadr. "Al-Maliki has already proven he can stand up to al-Sadr," the senior official said.

According to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, in the past, al-Sadr would face fierce competition "from Shiite political rivals loyal to Iran and fighters who want to drag the country into the Tehran route."

Omar Al-Nadawi is a researcher of Iraq and director of programs at the Center for Peace in Iraq. He has suggested in previous interviews with the American Alhura network that Iran will intervene "to make up for the loss of its bloc in the current election by seeking new parties to support it, as it did in the past when al-Maliki lost the opportunity to obtain a new mandate (for his election as prime minister), but this did not lead to a decrease in its presence in Iraq."

# Middle East # The Iranian Threat # Iraq
darrel snider 19:13 13.10.2021
Time to stop this permanently.
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