An American contractor was killed in Iraq last Friday, Iranian militias were blamed. Another Iran/Iraq War With America’s Military Arbitrating?
Iran’s Islamist Vision
There can be no doubt that Iran’s reputation for exporting global terrorism is 100% correct. Iran finances and arms Islamist militias like Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis in Yemen and other militias in Iraq and Syria. The tentacles of Iranian terrorism are spread far and wide, no doubt helped by President Obamas Administration who freed up Iranian assets worth up to an estimated 150 BILLION DOLLARS. Obama also sent Iran anything between 1.5 and 1.8 BILLION DOLLARS “in cash” as part of his Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a plan that was supposed to address and curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and therefore make the world a safer place.
Below – Iran celebrates the 40th anniversary of it storming the US Embassy in Tehran.
Safer Or Emboldened?
Donald Trump ran his Presidential campaign on getting the USA out of Obamas JCPOA. Trump viewed the JCPOA as a “terrible deal” for the USA; he was right about that. Trump was right about pulling out of Obama’s JCPOA as he saw it as a capitulation to Iranian threats. The deal encourages Iran’s global terror network and finances its militarised proxies.
According to the US State Department Iran has spent 16 billion dollars propping up the Assad regime and supporting its other partners and proxies in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen since 2012. Iran has provided 700 million dollars every year to Lebanese Hezbollah and 100 million dollars to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Since the Obama administration implemented the JCPOA, Iran’s military budget went up by 37%.
Trump naturally put the kybosh on this “terrible deal” by withdrawing the USA from it, he then imposed crippling sanctions on Iran which has seen their economy take a nosedive. The people of Iran have been demonstrating against their ruling Islamist elites because Iran has continued to finance its terror proxies in the region and around the world while its general population suffers. Rather than provide for its people, Iran’s financial support of terror organisations continues which has not gone down well. Iranians have taken to the streets protesting the Iranian Islamic system; many have been shot dead by Iranian security forces.
Iran In Iraq
Iraq has a huge Shiite Muslim population. Estimates are that Iraq comprises of 66% Shia and 34% Sunni Muslims, while Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq he did so with an iron fist, but he had to as he and his people were the minority Sunni. The sizeable Shia Muslim population have always had well-armed religious militias backed up with Iranian money, militias like Muqtadā al-Ṣadr’s Jaysh al-Mahdī (Mahdi Army) as an example. Iran has always had a vested interest in Iraq; it has always played its part in the antagonism of Saddam’s Baathist regime. Iran’s antagonism and its wish to consolidate a power base in Iraqi politics have never dwindled in fact they have expanded their influence since the USA took out Saddam.
Iraq has its own domestic issues to contend with, for months now the Iraqi people (whether they be Sunni or Shia) have been protesting against an inept and corrupt government that has killed more than four hundred protestors. Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi had to resign because of the deaths; he was also accused of being corrupt and beholden to foreign powers.
The political turmoil in Iraq has seen demonstrators venting their anger at neighbouring Iran, which is seen to wield massive influence in the country, with protesters burning down an Iranian consulate in late November last year.
Death To America
America still has a sizeable military presence in Iraq totalling around 5000 troops that use various military bases in the country. A base in Kirkuk that houses American and coalition forces were attacked, killing an American contractor and injuring several Iraqi personnel. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, blamed the attack on Iranian backed proxies. He said that any attack by Iran or its proxies that “harm Americans, our allies, or our interests will be answered with a decisive US response.”
Donald Trump has avoided direct military action against Iran even though Iran has been accused of waging terrorist attacks on commercial ships. Iran also shot down an American drone; Trump could have used these incidents to ramp up military escalations and take direct action against Iran; however, he chose not to.
Now that Iranian backed militias killed an American, Donald Trump took direct and decisive action. US airstrikes took out Hezbollah targets in Iraq and Syria, killing up to 25 Hezbollah terrorists.
In response to the US airstrikes, Hezbollah militiamen stormed the US Embassy in Baghdad in protest at the killing of their fellow terrorists, no doubt instructed by their sponsor and financier Iran.
Today it has been reported that Iranian General Soleimani – the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force – was killed in an airstrike in Iraq. The force Soleimani led is responsible for exporting terrorism and political chaos for the Iranian regime. The General has the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands; he planned many more attacks on US troops throughout the Middle-East.
Not any more.
Donald Trump has come under fire for his reaction both at home and abroad, Democrats have likened the situation to what happened in Benghazi (which is political doublespeak at best) and accused Trump of instigating a war with Iran. However Iraqi protestors seemed to be pretty happy after they found out that a US airstrike had killed Iranian General Soleimani.