Iraqis condemn Iran's influence in Iraq

[SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images] Prominent Iraqi politician Saleh al-Mutlak says Iran "does not want any good for Iraq".

[SABAH ARAR/AFP/Getty Images] Prominent Iraqi politician Saleh al-Mutlak says Iran "does not want any good for Iraq".

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Iraqi politicians and rights activists are speaking out against Iran's detrimental influence in Iraq.

They accuse Iran of trying to sabotage Iraq's democracy and inciting sectarian violence through armed groups, Iran's al-Qods Force, and religious sermons.

The leader of Iraq's Sahwa movement, Sheikh Ahmed Abu Reesha, accused Iran of supporting terrorism.

"We have evidence of Iran's support of al-Qaeda and terrorists, for facilitating the entry of drugs, and controlling Iraqi border areas and recruiting Iraqis to carry out operations that destabilize security," he said.

Abu Reesha added that Iran's humanitarian projects are designed for "hiding poison in honey, as they say. I am confident that Iraqis are not naïve enough to allow Iran to deceive them with its projects, which pay a few dollars to make the world think that it is helping Iraq."

Director General of Water Resources Awd Thiab accused Iran of causing an environmental and health crisis by diverting the course of the al-Karoun River and by dumping waste.

"Iran is currently using the Shatt al-Arab as a dump for refineries and sewage water, which has led to an increase in cancer cases in the south, especially in Basra," Thiab said.

Usama al-Nujaifi, a member of the al-Iraqiyah coalition, accused Iran of intervening in Iraq's internal affairs.

"We condemn such interventions and reject using natural, internal differences in Iraq for expansionist, imperialist projects, or in causing sectarian fitna or attempting to drag Iraqis to a fight in the name of sect or denomination," he said.

Al-Nujaifi added that Iran is attempting to increase its presence in Iraq as US forces withdraw.

"Iran's implementation of projects through fake companies and organisations affiliated with the Iranian intelligence agency and al-Qods Force is not accepted by Iraqi Shias themselves, as well as Sunnis and Christians," al-Nujaifi said.

Parliamentary leader of the Iraqi Front for National Dialogue Saleh al-Mutlak said, "Iran wants to turn Iraq into a burnt-out region affiliated with it. It does not want any good for Iraq and does not want its democratic experiment to succeed."

"[Iran's] aim behind destabilizing security in Iraq is to keep world public opinion preoccupied with Iraq while it proceeds with the production of banned weapons and the possession of the atomic bomb," he added.

Al-Mutlak said Iraqis will not allow Iran to continue to intervene in their affairs.

"What are the charitable projects that Iran claims to be implementing in Iraq?" he said. "It is not giving a single dollar without having an illegitimate plan behind it in Iraq. The Iraqi boycott of Iran is the best proof of that. I know that these organisations are suffering from the boycott by Iraqis who reject the assistance given by them. This is reassuring, and I am optimistic that Iraqis themselves will uproot Iran from Iraq before the next government."

Iraqis said they reject Iran's attempts to intervene in Iraqi affairs.

Nasif Abdul Zahra, 54, a resident of Basra, said, "A few days ago, an organisation called the Association for the Assistance of Affected Iraqis said it would provide oil heaters for the winter season as well as medications. However, not one of us went there."

He added, "The truth is that all these Iranian organisations have started to unravel. They just seek to increase Iranian influence in Iraq, and in our turn, we told them that the best assistance you can render to us is to stop harming us and control your borders so that terrorists may not infiltrate through them."

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    محمد يوسف

    2010-6-14

    The person who observes what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and many other countries directly targeted by terrorism, notices that terrorists from Al-Qaeda and members of the Taliban, with the help of Iran, are behind these attacks. This has been proven after the arrest of terrorists and their confessions concerning the quality of the weapons used in the implementation of these criminal operations in different countries. In fact, these weapons are of Iranian origin and carry recent manufacturing dates. This is evidence of the mutual cooperation between Iran and the members of these terrorist organizations.

  • حذيفة أحمد

    2010-6-6

    I swear to God that those who have rushed to Iran to make a deal to form the Iraqi government are shameless. They ignored those who elected them, seeking the sympathy and the pleasure of their lords… They went to show obedience, so that they would be recommended to take positions, as if Iraq had become an Iranian village!! Shame on you… You, who elected those sycophants, are you satisfied with this dependence, ignominy, loss of dignity and self-respect??!! How is the referendum going to be held? Should we send an SMS to the phone number of the Mahdi Militia?

  • عماد النقاش

    2010-2-24

    Iraq has been an arena for the interventions of all the neighboring countries that have sent terrorists, gangs, and intelligence to Iraq to carry out their agenda. After the fall of the dictatorial regime, which caused many problems between Iraq and its neighbors, the neighboring countries exploited the chaos and disorder in the country and sent their agents to supervise the execution of their own agendas in Iraq, but they forgot that the Iraqi people are innocent from all this, since they were not responsible for the eight-year war with Iran, and they did not have a say when Saddam made the decision to invade Kuwait, or when he cut off relations with Syria all the time he was in power, etc. These people are oblivious to the fact that the Iraqi people have been persecuted by Saddam’s regime. There is no point in taking revenge from him. Today, we are aware of this. Some people criticize Syria only and turn a blind eye to the rest. Terrorism does not come just from Syria, but from Iran, Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, Lebanon and even from other countries that are far from Iraq. With regards to Syria, it had better control its borders and effectively close it down, in order to put an end to the killing of Iraqis, so that accusations would not be pointed only at Syria.

  • عراقي انا

    2010-2-24

    Iran interferes openly in Iraq, and as a Shia person, I am opposed to this interference. This is not my own opinion; rather, it is the opinion of every Shia Iraqi. Indeed, we are proud to be Shias, but this should not be at the expense of the other sects and religions in Iraq. We are all Iraqis, and Iran will never be able to divide us. We are all brothers in this country and we will build it together, no matter how hard the advocates of sectarianism try to sow the seeds of discord among us. I do not understand why Iran interferes in Iraq’s internal affairs! Why do they not take care of their own affairs and leave us alone?! Is this an attempt to detract the Iranians from their internal problems and their government that forged the election results? Shame on the Iranian government, which falsely alleges that it protects Muslims and defends their rights everywhere. It should first give freedom to the Iranian people, who took to the streets to protest against the electoral fraud! Shame on the rulers of Iran, because they support the immoral Iraqis to target our Sunni brothers in Iraq. O Allah, protect Iraq and its people, and protect us against the conspiracies of the Iranian rulers, who want to sow seeds of discord among Iraqis.