Informed sources in Najaf Province confirmed the presence of Iranian Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani in this province to meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in order to reach an agreement aimed at quelling popular demonstrations.
It has been a few days that Iran’s supreme leader and Qassem Suleimani have become very anxious to regain control over Iraq. Khomeini, the founder of the mullahs’ regime in Iran, died never seeing his dream of conquering Iraq realized. However, Iran became eager again as the US occupied Iraq and unfortunately US President Barack Obama presented this country in a silver plate to Iran. Even more recently it appeared that Tehran would actually reach its objective in this regard. However, popular protests have thrashed all of Iran’s dreams of quelling the demonstrations and making Iraq its own backyard again.
This is Qassem Suleimani visiting Najaf, Iraq. He is a strong figure in Iran and the commander of the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force. He has been missioned directly by Iran to crackdown on popular anger in Iraq, similar to the 1979 campaign when he was dispatched to the city of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan to quell the Kurdish uprising. The recent unrest in Iraq has disrupted all hopes and plans of Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei in Iraq.
Some say the Middle East is like a ring in his hands. However, this ring is becoming tighter and tighter. Reports from Najaf speak of differences between him and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani on the mechanism to quell the demonstrations. This is exactly the reason behind the delay between his meeting with the Grand Ayatollah.
Analysts are describing such a delay between the two parties as the seeds of initial disputes, gaining momentum in today’s status quo as differences are flaring. Such differences are very rare and they actually don’t arise at all, unless the headings of the winds of change in Iraq under the shadows of popular anger, are opposite of the ships Iran is guiding.
If the meetings of this individual mean anything, it is that he is in charge of his own battles and his tools in this war are bribes, threats and cementing a climate of fear, or resorting to assassinations, and moreover, imposing his will in the meetings of individuals who have been dubbed as corrupt figures in recent demonstrations. In the meantime, he is plotting how to silence the people’s anger in order to align them with Tehran’s demands. It is worth noting that he took part in the sessions of the National Alliance political commission in southern Iraq.
How does this Iranian man enter in such a way? And how does he raise his voice in a meeting that is supposedly held for Iraqis? Unless from Iran’s perspective Iraq is merely Tehran’s backyard or its sphere of influence in which it has the right to abject any individual it wishes, and back any other individual they wish to their rise in power. Iran is attempting to make this a reality, yet popular anger in Iraq will force all of Tehran’s dreams in this country down the drain.