Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are seen in Zumar, Nineveh province, Iraq October 18, 2017. (REUTERS)

July 15, 2019

Since the beginning of its revolution, the Iranian regime has acted in accordance with a doctrinal frame that was the perfect cover for achieving old imperial ambitions embodied in a specific political system and diplomatic relations operating according to international standards and mechanisms.

The concept of authority in Iran is a platform for carrying out the regime’s doctrinal agenda and for mobilising the numerical strength of sectarian groups that are convinced of the regime’s goals and are usually ready to perform what is required of them without question or hesitation.

By the nature of events that rocked the region following Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s ascension to power in Iran, these fanatical groups have lost all sense of belonging to a state and have declared their unequivocal loyalty to the supreme leader and their willingness and readiness to carry out his orders, even if those orders are at the expense of the people they belong to. They offer power over their country and their people to the ideological occupier.

The Iraqis are discovering how “Iranian” militias in Iraq, ostensibly carrying Iraqi nationality and acting in the name of Iraqi citizens, have hijacked Iraq’s sovereign decisions. They are quick to criticise the government for not doing enough for Tehran even though the latter is constantly juggling the complex consequences of the US-Iran confrontation by keeping the balance in favour of trade with Iran.

This trade is unilateral and the Iranian regime is doing all it can to keep Iraq as an outlet and a key platform for breaking US sanctions, even by risking direct export of Iranian oil shipments or by importing what the mullah’s regime requires. The system is run by a network of mafiosi that is in no way motivated by a desire to relieve pressure of the US sanctions on Iranian citizens.

Why are the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) militias adamant embarrassing the government, even though all parties are performing their duties in terms of serving the mullahs’ regime in Iran?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fierce competition among the political parties in Iraq to show who’s more loyal to mullahs. There is the same competition among state institutions in Iran itself.

It is normal, then, that it becomes copied outside Iran’s border as part of its expansionist project. The aim is to restructure authority in Iraq to conform to the configuration of a state run by militias, which depends on the compliance of the components of the militias based on lack of trust. The goal is to build a de facto recognition that loyalty of the government of Iraq and the other state institutions is to the Iranian state first and foremost. This is the militias’ message to the United States.

This constant thievery of whatever is left of the Iraqi state’s authority, the law and the will of the parliament does not mean there are instructions and decisions relating to the immediate issues and that the long-term details and foundations of the mullahs’ regime terrorist project are forgotten.

The militias will not give up what they have gained from the era of Islamic State (ISIS) terror and from the sectarian fatwas issued by the Shia authorities. Neither will they sacrifice election gains by militia blocs. It is possible to foresee what awaits the ancient city of Mosul and its Arab heritage, which can serve as a model for other Arab cities in Iraq destroyed by the militias.

We are living in a time dominated by the gluttony of warlords and by the motives of operating demographic changes and cleansing under the cover of corrupt laws and elections. We are witnessing the spoliation of people’s properties by means of intimidation, impoverishment or a small compensation for a lost human dignity. This is called investing in despairing of promises of reconstruction and compensation.

A latest form of terrorism practised by the militias and their parties against the displaced inhabitants of Mosul is aimed at severing those refugees from their areas of residence by harassing homeowners to sell their property damaged during the war on ISIS at laughable prices.

This form of real estate investment is not condemned or deterred by the international community because it does not pay attention to the details and consequences of such dangerous plans. The growing number of refugees prevents the international community from discerning the militias’ weapons behind their backs. The militias control political decisions in Iraq and compete with official authorities, who descend from the same genes as the militias and compete to see who can move closer to the throne of the supreme leader.

In light of the measures to integrate the PMF into the regular Iraqi armed forces, what is being said about limiting the possession of weapons in Iraq to the government’s armed forces is another clear sign of the plan to convert the professional army in Iraq to a local version of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, always in the service of the mullahs’ regime.

For a long time, the latter has dealt with its internal concerns and battles by redirecting the missions of units in the Iranian Army, including the infamous al-Quds brigade, to settling scores with Arab regimes and taking control of Arab capitals.

The militias are being mobilised for various missions, foremost of which is inciting sectarian sedition and preparing for worse prospects in anticipation of any conflict with the United States through shocks and catastrophes that transcend the Islamic State’s style of terror.

This requires a campaign of caution, vigilance and mobilisation in preparation for unexpected operations and attacks. Such attacks serve to confuse the international community and force it to intervene after each mini crisis. All the while, Iran is hoping to transform the nature of its conflict with the international community to obtaining a commitment on the part of Iran to stand by its commitment to the nuclear agreement.

The militias in Iran are aware that they have started to sink into multiple crises and have come to a crucial crossroads with the Iranian people. The same could also be said of Iraqi parties and the political system.

Some parties and their leaders have started to jump off the wagon of the Iranian project and into their own projects, trying to win the people’s sympathies. They imply that they enjoy independence from Iran when it comes to making sovereign decisions but they are forgetting that people have a long collective memory and that it is that memory that will dispel many of the dreams of the militias and warlords.

The Arab Weekly

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.