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November 10, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10310

Iraqi Journalist Hopes Protests In Iran Will Lead To Collapse Of Regime: 'Life In The Region Will Be Better And Safer'

November 10, 2022
Iran, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 10310

Amid the escalating protests in Iran, Iraqi journalist Ibrahim Al-Zubeidi published an article in the Iraqi daily Al-Akhbar, in which he directs harsh criticism at the Iranian regime. He writes that this regime's benighted and murderous policies inside and outside Iran blacken the image of the Shi'ite sect, so much so that millions of Shi'ites around the world now pray for its downfall. The expanding protests in Iran, he adds, are a revolution by all the Iranian people, who can no longer tolerate the injustice of the regime and have decided to rebel against it. Al-Zubeidi  predicts that this revolution will lead to the regime's collapse and to the birth of "a new Iran, peaceful and rational." This will have a positive impact on the entire region, he says, for Iran's allies and proxies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will lose their power and these countries will once again know security and stability. Then "the world will be free of the nightmare of bombs, missiles, drones, murders and drugs," and "life in the region will become better, safer and more prosperous." Al-Zubeidi also directs criticism at the West, which, he states, does not punish the Iranian regime for its conduct, but rather helps it and provides it with military aid in order to promote Western interests.

In another article published several weeks ago, amid the violent clashes that have been ongoing between various political forces in Iraq and in which dozens of Iraqis have been killed, Al-Zubeidi wrote that Iran and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq are chiefly to blame for the "ongoing death" in the country. He called on the Iraqis to rise up and liberate their country from Iran's hegemony.


Ibrahim Al-Zubeidi (image: Elaph.com)

The following are translated excerpts from these two articles:

On September 28 Al-Zubeidi wrote in Al-Akhbar: "No force hostile to the Shi'ite sect anywhere in the world has caused this sect as much damage as [the founder of Islamic Iran Rohullah] Khomeini, his successor Ali Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guards, intelligence [apparatuses], and [political] parties and militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. [These forces have harmed the Shi'ite sect] with the murders, treason and financial and moral corruption they have been perpetrating in Iran, in the neighboring [countries], in the region and across the world since Khomeini's plane touched down in Tehran in 1979. This is what causes millions if Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Lebanese, Yemenis, Saudis, Bahrainis, Kuwaitis, Pakistanis and Afghans to yearn for the downfall of this regime. With its cruel, aggressive and damaging actions, and its benighted and backward ideas, [this regime] has caused many peoples throughout the world to believe that every Shi'ite – no matter if he supports the Iranian regime or opposes it and seeks to overthrow it – represents backwardness, violence, treason, lies and fraud.

"Since the martyrdom of Mahsa Amini [who died in the custody of Iran's morality police after being arrested for wearing her hijab "improperly"], all of Iran is burning in a revolution,  and even if [the regime] manages to bury [these protests], they have placed it in a difficult situation which can only end in its ultimate downfall.  The regime now faces only two options, and both of them mark the beginning of its certain and genuine collapse. If it resorts to brutality – as it is wont to do, due to its dictatorial, arrogant and extremist character – and manages to murder or arrest thousands of protesters, burn homes, and destroy schools, hospitals and markets, as it has done in the past, it will [only] pour oil on the flames and tighten the noose around its own neck. [Alternatively], if it resorts to smooth talk and hypocrisy, seeking to appeases the masses with fake compassion and pretending to be willing to engage in dialogue, it will convince the rebelling masses that it has lost its strength… This will cause them to increase their demands, and they will order it to go.

"The imminent collapse [of the Iranian regime] will certainly… give birth to a new Iran, peaceful and rational and capable of looking to the wellbeing of its citizens and neighbors… In Iraq, the gunmen and the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU][1] will disappear,… and we will see many leaders of the [Shi'ite] Coordination Framework and of the Sadrist Movement end up behind bars. With the establishment of a state [anchored in] justice, equality and the rule of law, there will be fewer black and white Turbans in the state institutions and sectors, and the age in which the Turban was used to more easily rob public funds will come to an end. The numerous satellite channels, radio stations and newspapers of the Ayatollah regime, which specialize in promoting fairytales and fostering hatred, will be closed down. Within days a strong and independent Iraqi government will be formed, and the [Iran-backed] turbans, militia commanders and party heads will have to vacate the palaces, farms and lands they have stolen from the state… The Iraqi people will regain the billions of dollars that corrupt Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds have stolen and smuggled [out of the country]. In addition, [the revenues] from oil and from the border crossings, seaports and airports will return to the state coffers, so that the government can spend them on rebuilding the homeland and [helping] the citizens.

"In Syria, Bashar Al-Assad's regime will fall right away and without delay, and will pay the price for the barrel bombs it ordered to drop on the homes of innocent Syrians. Security, stability and prosperity will return to a safe and beautiful Syria after a long time in which they were absent.

"In Lebanon, [Hizbullah secretary-general] Hassan Nasrallah will be arrested or killed, or will flee from justice. [Parliament Speaker] Nabih Berri will be put on trial, along with the other gangs that [engage in] murder, treason, theft and drug trafficking. [Then] genuinely patriotic parliament members and a courageous president will be elected, as well as a devoted and loyal prime minister that will not be subordinate [to another country]. Lebanon will once again be the flower of the Middle East, as it used to be. 

"The Hamas government and the brigades of the [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad will lose the money bags and crates of weapons [they receive from] Iran. They will seek a new source of funding, but find none.

"In Yemen, the Houthis will not last very long. They will realize they have reached a dead end and surrender, and a new, unified state will be established in Yemen, with freedom, honor, security and stability.

 "The leaders of Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the other Islamic terrorists will lose the safe haven they enjoy in Iran, and the world will be free of the nightmare of the bombs, missiles, drones, murders and drugs.

"To put it clearly, the region will be completely transformed. Life in it will be better, safer and more prosperous, and there will be greater respect for human dignity…

"It should be mentioned that, since its establishment in 1979, the [Iranian] regime never, even for a single day, stopped planning attacks or threatening attacks against the neighboring countries and against the interests of the powers in the Gulf and the region. Yet the so-called international community never punished it like it did the regime of Saddam Hussein. On the contrary, many countries, such as Russia, China, India, North Korea, Germany, Britain and France continue to support it, aid it and provide it with warehouses full of missiles and drones… for opportunistic, economic or political reasons. Other countries, including the U.S., have kept silent [over its conduct] for 40 years. They refrain from confronting it and try to appease it, openly or in secret.

"Here I come to the sensitive point in this article: Even if the U.S., Europe, Russia, India and China do not want this rickety regime to collapse, the Iranian people themselves – under the leadership of the brave and cultured Iranian women, who are the sisters of the enlightened Iranian men in the homeland – can no longer tolerate its existence, and are rebelling, determined to remove it. They will do so even of all the governments on the planet stand by its side.

"The new revolution is not like the previous ones, [which involved] temporary protests in demand of water, electricity, food and medicines. This is a revolution of all the ethnic groups, religious groups, sects and sectors in Iran, who for 40 years have suffered the regime's sectarian and racist injustice, oppression and hatred…"[2]

The Iraqi People Must Rebel Against The Iranian Hegemony, Expel It From Their Land

As stated, Al-Zubeidi also came out against Iran in a previous article, posted in early September on the liberal website Elaph, amid the deadly clashes that have been ongoing in Baghdad since the parliamentary election between supporters of Muqtada Al-Sadr, whose bloc won a majority of the seats in parliament, and supporters of pro-Iranian Shi'ite parties, organizations and militias. These clashes have so far cost the lives of dozens of people. Al-Zubeidi called on the Iraqis, whom he said were determined to expel the "Iranian occupation" and are paying for this with their lives, to rise up as one and "wage a fateful campaign" against the Iranian hegemony. He wrote: "The murderous clashes that took place last week in [Baghdad's] Green Zone among officials of the Shi'ite-Iranian [camp], who are divided between the Sadrist movement and the [pro-Iranian] Coordination Framework, is just another in the series of clashes that have been occurring  between them for years, sometimes overtly and sometimes covertly, depending on the circumstances. Each side in this conflict justifies its hostility towards the other by saying it is defending the truth, the [Islamic] religion and the [Shi'ite] sect, and that its victims are martyrs deserving of Paradise whereas the victims on the other side are traitors destined for Hell…

"The government is not the only one responsible for the endless bloodshed in Iraq. It shares [this responsibility] with the political parties, the schools, the universities, the press and civil society. [They all] remain silent and plot with the failing politicians who exploit the stupidity of the fools, the ignorance of the ignorant, and the heedlessness of the feeble-minded…  

"And here I come to the crux of this article. Since 2003, the Iraqi governments have counted hundreds of thousands of victims, who have been added by their parties and militias to the roster of martyrs. If we look closely at the identity of the victims, and at the record of the assassinations and the executions by hanging or gunfire since 2004, we will find that three fourths of them were [actually] victims of our Muslim neighbor and sister-state, Iran. [These people were killed] either by Iranian secret agents armed with silencer-equipped [guns] who entered the country without the government's knowledge, or else by the missiles, drones and car-bombs of Iran's loyal proxies [i.e., the Iran-backed militias in Iraq].

"Every year we [Iraqis] experience another revolution or uprising for the sake of freedom, honor and livelihood, and hundreds and sometimes thousands of our young people are killed, abducted or arrested just for chanting 'out with Iran.' But in the [official] records, all these crimes are ascribed to unknown [perpetrators].

"To put it more clearly, the Iraqi people, determined to rid itself of the [Iranian] occupation, is paying a heavy price for its liberty, and is paying it in installments – yet the killing and murder do not cease and the occupier does not leave. What if the entire Iraqi people – the workers, farmers, doctors, engineers, soldiers, officers, scientists, philosophers, poets and artists – were to awaken one day and wage a fateful campaign against our sister Iran? What if they insisted on either defeating it and its agents or dying, and on buying [Iraq's] independence all at once, at any price? Would that not be commendable? Moreover, would [Iran's] Revolutionary Guards and militias be able to murder all the Iraqi people in order to stay [in Iraq]? I doubt it." [3]

 

[1] The PMU is an umbrella organization of some 40 militias, most of them Shi'ite and pro-Iranian, which was originally established to fight ISIS. These militias, some of which are designated by various countries as terrorist organizations, helped Iran establish its control over Iraq and undermine its independence. In 2016 the PMU's status was regulated by designating it a national Iraqi force subordinate to the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces and to the Prime Minister's Office. Despite this, the majority of the militias remain loyal to the Iranian regime and some even take part in attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq.

[2] Akhbaar.org, September 28, 2022. The article was also published the same day on Al-Zubeidi's column in the London-based daily Al-Arab.

[3] Elpah.com, September 5, 2022.

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