According to the latest media reports, widespread popular protests in Iraq, which began on 1st October 2019, has entered a new phase. The Iraqi people’s movement, demanding important political changes in the country, in recent days has been on the verge of entering a qualitatively decisive stage. Now, apart from the Kurdistan region and three Sunni-majority provinces, the waves of uprising and popular protests have wiped across Iraq, including all Shiite regions.
In the past few weeks, the growth of protests and its unity and cohesion free from religious differences and the traditional ethnic sectarianism has been a very important and decisive point in this popular uprising. It is also noteworthy that in the past few days, millions of Iraqi demonstrators as well as a number of political parties in that country, including the Iraqi Communist Party, have explicitly demanded the resignation of the government of the Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the dissolution of the parliament. More importantly, this huge and heroic uprising of the Iraqi people do not call only for superficial reforms or shifting of this or that Prime Minister or politician, but its fundamental demand is to begin the implementation of fundamental, important, and immediate changes in the government and state structure.
One of the important characteristics of events in the past few days in Iraq has been a very obvious direction of the demonstration against the interference of foreign powers and especially the military forces and representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq. Only two days after the interventionist speech of Ali Khamenei on 30th October 2019 in a graduation ceremony of the army students of the military college about the Iraqi crisis and commanding the oppressed people of the country what to do, according to the media reports, slogans and demands of the demonstrators in Karbala and in the Tahrir (Freedom) Square in Baghdad, targeted Khamenei himself and Qasem Soleimani and broadly demanded the halt of activities undertaken by the Iran’s theocratic regime in Iraq. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Qods force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps and the special emmisary of Ali Khamenei, has participated in the organization of repression and murder of demonstrators right from the beginning. After the start of the popular protests in Iraq, he quickly headed to Baghdad and attended a security meeting with senior officials of the Adel Abdul Mahdi government. According to a report by Associated Press, quoting two senior Iraqi security officials, Qasem Soleimani pointed out the crackdown on protests in Iran (the Green movement in 2099), saying: “We know what to do with the protesters in Iran. This happened in Iran and we managed to control it. “According to a UN report, at least 257 people have been killed and 10,000 wounded since the beginning of protests in Iraq.
Ali Khamenei, last week, 30th October 2019, claimed that the protests of the people of Iraq and Lebanon are unrests that the United States and Israel are behind them. He said: “Foreign countries with the financial support of some reactionary states in the region are intent to wreck the security in Iraq and Lebanon.”
The continuation and expansion of the Iraqi people’s widespread uprising, along with clearer political slogans, shows that the Iraqi people have distinctly realised that the Iraqi government’s foundations which have been based on ethnic sectarianism, religious prejudices, and relying on the support of this or that of foreign power not only would not allow any step to be taken in the direction of responding to the serious socio-economic problems and institutionalized corruption in that country, but also they have been the main cause in the creation of this mass of problems in Iraq. For example, the Iraqi people, during their recent protests, wanted the answer to this question that what happened to the hundreds of billions of dollars revenue from oil sales?
Most of the people of Iraq, like the people of a number of other countries of the world, including Chile, Argentina, Lebanon and Iran, have experienced highly destructive effects of economic adjustments based on the economic neoliberalism model. Because of the bloody and devastating American aggression, followed by the military occupation of Iraq in 2001 by the United States, which led to the destruction of the major economic structures of Iraq, and in parallel to it, to the competition of foreign powers for influence and their proxy wars in the country, the imposition of neoliberal programs in the interests of accumulation of private capital has had catastrophic impacts on the nation. The fabric of the dominant political structures in Iraq and the anti-national connections of these structures with external influential powers- in particular the United States and the theocratic regime of Iran- are heavily intertwined with each other.
In Iraq, the sectarian-ethnic political quota system to maintain a heavily rentier economic, has forced all economic planning and measures to comply with the interests of the parasitic bureaucratic bourgeoisie and its links with foreign powers, and under the direct influence of these interests. In this regards, the Islamic Republic’s influential political apparatus in Iraq, relying on Iraqi politicians subordinating the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the extraterritorial military forces of the IRGC (using Islamic reactionary paramilitary forces along with the local capitalists and agents under the command of the Vali-Faqih in the current power quota system), they are always operating to gain a bigger share in the political and economic fields. It is clear that the Iraqi people are well aware of the devastating role of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the forces of political Islam under the command of this regime, in their country, and they strongly oppose their interference in macroeconomic, political and social policies of Iraq. As such, the heads of the Iranian theocratic regime and above all Ali Khamenei and his emissary, Qasem Soleimani, have been engaged in Iraqi internal affairs with concern and rushed to preserve the influence and the totally illegitimate interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq.
Last Wednesday, after the speech and intervening warnings of Ali Khamenei about the situation in Iraq, immediately Qasem Soleimani made a secret trip to Baghdad. With Khamenei’s directive, he prevented the action of the Badr-Sairon coalitions aimed at forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Abdul Mahdi (which is the demand of the people of Iraq and the popular political parties of that country). It is worth mentioning that in recent days, due to the expansion of demonstrations across the nation and the coherence of the people’s political demands, the course of the events has changed so rapidly and contrary to the desires of Iran’s theocratic regime that for now Khamenei and Soleimani have not been able to install their trusted puppet Hadi Ameri (the head of the Badr paramilitary corps affiliated with IRGC) in place of the current prime minister. This is why the Islamic Republic of Iran insists on the Iraqi Prime Minister, Abdul Mahdi, to remain in power in order to hold the minimum political leverage in their hands and to be able to influence the current situation of Iraq, especially controlling the situation through suppressing popular protests by their forces. The goal of the interference of Ali Khamenei in Iraq, like the malicious and repressive policies of the Iranian regime in our homeland, is to block the real and active participation of the people in the scene of the political developments of the country and achieving the right to determine their own destiny. The goal of Ali Khamenei and his appointed agent Qasem Soleimani is in fact to prevent the change of the current state structure in Iraq based on political and religious quotas, as otherwise it is possible that the strong leverage of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Quds Corps in Iraq will be lost.
The leaders of the authoritarian and anti-people theocratic regime of Iran are also very worried about the spread of the developments of Iraq and its impact on the events in our homeland, and in particular the process of integration of people’s economic protests and demands with political demands for democratic changes. The leaders of the regime are very well aware that aversion of the people of our homeland from oppression and all-encompassing corruption of the theocratic apparatus is the fire under the ash that can threaten the regime with the smallest spark or through impacts of the events in the region. Therefore, the propaganda apparatus of the Islamic Republic of Iran is trying hard to deter and suppress the Iraqi popular protests by creating religious and ethnic divisions. In this regard, Movahedi Kermani, a temporary Friday prayers Imam, at the Friday prayer ceremony of Tehran, November 2, said: “The Iraqi people should separate their ranks from the English Shiites.”
Ali Khamenei, as the “Representative of God on Earth”, not only for the people of our country, but also blatantly make decisions for the Iraqi people, i.e. the people who, in the last 16 years, have tried in many ways to overcome the disastrous consequences of the US bloody military invasion and to liberate their country, through their struggles, from the yoke of the US imperialism and the regional powers.
Along with other progressive forces of the region and in our country, the Tudeh Party of Iran categorically supports the rise of the Iraqi people, and strongly condemns the destructive interference and suppressive measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iraq under the leadership of Ali Khamenei and the reactionary Revolutionary Guards. Supporting the progressive forces of Iraq, particularly the comrades of the Iraqi Communist Party, we express our solidarity with the Iraq’s popular movement and its political and social slogans.
The Tudeh Party of Iran
3rd November 2019