More Blows to Iran Regime’s Strategic Depth in Iraq
The new Iraqi government’s raids on the Iranian regime’s terrorist proxy groups, along with the removal of the regime’s agents from key governmental positions, which are indeed the result of the Iraqi people’s ongoing uprising, are major blows to the regime’s so-called “strategic depth” in Iraq.
A nationwide uprising erupted in Iraq in early October and has continued ever since. Along with targeting institutionalized corruption in Iraq, the main goal of these protests is to end the Iranian regime’s deadly meddling in Iraq. The regime has always described Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, particularly Iraq, with its overwhelming Shiite majority, as its strategic depth. This notion was one of the main reasons for the regime’s prolonging of the Iran-Iraq war and creating the terrorist Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force. Now after the elimination of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the regime’s terror mastermind and the real governor of Iraq, who controlled the Iraqi government, the ongoing protests have put social pressure on the Iraqi government, along with the increasing conflict between Tehran and Washington, to take some action against the regime’s interests.
Some of these developments include:
Faleh Fayyaz, who was the head of Iraq’s National Security and the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF) and a known agent of Iran’s regime, was removed from his post of National Security Advisor.
On Thursday, Reuters reported: “Iraqi security forces raided a stronghold of a powerful Iran-backed militia in southern Baghdad late on Thursday and detained more than a dozen members of the group, government officials and paramilitary sources said.” Reuters further described this raid as “the most brazen action by Iraqi forces against a major Iran-backed militia in years and targeted the Kataib Hezbollah group.”
Hamid Hossaini, the spokesperson of the Iranian regime’s Union of Oil, Gas and Petrochemical Exporters, told the state-run ILNA news agency on Friday: “Billions of dollars of Iranian assets in the Central Bank of Iraq have been blocked due to the US sanctions, and the Iraqi banking network is not cooperating with the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The most important development, however, is the ongoing uprising by the Iraqi people, particularly protests in southern provinces, which have a Shiite majority. These protests continue in Iraq simultaneously with nationwide Iran protests which have shaken the regime’s pillars of existence, and the regime’s increasing international isolation.
After 17 years of trying to occupy Iraq through ruthless measures and using terrorist proxy groups, the Iranian regime’s strategic depth is one step away from collapsing. The increased awareness of the Iraqi people, parallel uprisings in Lebanon and Syria, the nationwide Iran protests, the elimination of Qassem Soleimani, as well as the regime’s increasing international isolation are among the main causes of the regime’s waning power in the region.