Many believe that the people’s uprising in the Iraqi city of Basra is the beginning of the end of the Iranian presence in Iraq at large as well as a Shiite awakening against the mullahs in Tehran after the Iranian consulate was burned with popular sympathy and the escape of the leaders and elements of pro-Iranian militias from the offices of their parties and their militias in women’s clothing for fear of popular anger in the city. This comes after the repression these militias have practiced by firing live bullets at the demonstrators. The popular revolution against Iran’s interventions in Iraq continues to grow amid raising slogans against the Iranian Supreme Leader and his security services as well as the terrorism engineer Qassim Soleimani.

The Basra uprising against the Iranian presence and the burning of its consulate under the slogan of “Ya Hussein” is a qualitative shift that can be attributed to that the Arab Shiites have realized the dangers of the Iranian regime and its exploitation of Shiites and Shiism to achieve its expansionist interests away from the interests of the Shiites and the Arab world, and that Iran is no less dangerous than ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

The protesters burned the Iranian flag under the slogan “No to Iran” and again under the slogan “Ya Hussein.” The demonstrators are still sending messages to Tehran that what is coming is much harder and stronger, and that the Iraqi people are determined to liberate all of Iraq from Iran and its militias. This, in turn, prompted Tehran to send terrorist messages by pushing these militias to target the protestors with live bullets and to assassinate security, military and partisan leaders who decided to side by the Iraqi people and their demands.

The Iraqi people, Sunnis and Shiites, have realized that Iran is the main reason behind all the crises and problems of their country. It is the one which flooded Iraq with drugs, severed 41 rivers and cut off electricity at a time of extreme heat. It is Iran that has encouraged sectarianism, terrorism and fighting in Iraqi cities, spread corruption in its institutions, looted its goods and wealth, especially oil, tampered with its security and stability, and sought to take Iraq out of its Arab sphere by hitting Iraqi relations with Arab countries. Iraq has also been used as a clearinghouse, an arena for the export of crises, a field for striking Western and Arab interests in the region and a training camp for terrorist groups seeking to create strife, fighting and shedding Arab blood, and that is all because of Iran!

It seems that the Iraqi awakening against Iran is growing day by day. There is a popular and political insistence that includes most of the Iraqi factions, except for the parties and militias loyal to Iran, that all forms of Iranian intervention in Iraq must be ended and all Iraqi institutions must be cleansed of all Iranian clients and corrupts, who were behind exacerbating crises of all forms in Iraq.

It seems that these protests are likely to extend from Basra, southern Iraq, to neighboring Iranian cities which are witnessing similar crises and problems to those suffered by the people of southern Iraq, especially since these ongoing protests in Basra come at a time Iran is suffering a political and economic crises because of the US sanctions, the internal divisions and exacerbation of the problems and crises inside it, which erupted sporadic demonstrations involving most of the Iranian cities.

Reasons for more demonstration in Iran are on the rise, so the demonstrations in southern Iraq now are of the utmost concern to the Iranian authorities, which is afraid that its spark might reach the stressed Iranian interior and explode again against the regime. Tehran hence is currently working to turn the uprising direction and the anger of the Iraqi street towards Haider Abadi in a move aimed at blaming him for the security failure on the one hand, and failure to respond to the demands of protesters in Basra. Therefore, Iran is trying to steer the public opinion and popular demands from demanding the end of the Iranian presence and interventions in Iraq to demands to oust Haidar Abadi!

Al Mezmaah Studies & Research Centre

10 September  2018