05272019Mon

Iran Focus

London, 31 Oct - Commander of the Iranian Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani, was behind the operation that resulted in the recent takeover of Kirkuk by Iranian backed militias and the Iraqi army. This shows that Iran, without a doubt, has an extremely influential role in Iraq.

It is unclear how much of a role was played by the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi, but it is certain that the big decisions were made by Iran to be followed in Iraq.

Al-Abadi is being criticised for resorting to violence against the Kurds so early on and they say that he should have engaged in talks in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region. Furthermore, Erbil played a big role alongside Baghdad in the fight against ISIS.

Iran Focus

London, 23 Oct - Donald Trump’s new policy on Iran does not go far enough in relation to the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Last week, the PMF and the Iraqi army invaded the oil-rich Kirkuk region- taken back from ISIS by the Kurds- under the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Qassem Soleimani. Trump has refused to intervene, claiming that both Iraq and the Kurds are US allies and that it would not be appropriate to back either side.

Iran Focus

London, 18 Oct - The Kurdistan Regional Government have accused the Iranian Regime of helping the Iraqi government gain control of disputed territories in northern Iraq, including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

The Iraqi government forces marched into the Kurdish-controlled territories earlier this week, following weeks of threats after the Kurdish referendum. The Kurdish forces (Peshmerga) withdrew to save the lives of their people and the city and oil field were captured by Iraq in just a few hours.

Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, the commander of Peshmerga forces in Kirkuk, said, in a statement on Monday: "Iranians were leading the battle on Kirkuk and our forces had to withdraw to protect the lives of Peshmerga. The decision [to withdraw] was not a mistake."

Iran Focus

London, 18 Oct - Mere days after Donald Trump decertify Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, citing their destabilising influence in the Middle East as one of many reasons, Iran attacked US allies who were fighting ISIS in Iraq.

The Kurdish Peshmerga, who have been retaking land in northern Iraq from ISIS since 2015 when the Iraqi force retreated, were suddenly attacked by Iran-backed Iraqi forces in oil-rich Kirkuk.

The land remains disputed because the Kurdish people recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence and the Iraqi government does not want to allow this.

Iran Focus

London, 19 Sep - The establishment of an Iraqi primary school that bears the name of Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Iranian Regime, has incited controversy over Iranian interference in Iraq and has even been labelled a “provocation” to residents.

The "Imam Khomeini" school, near Mosul, northern Iraq, was opened last week, despite warnings from several Iraqi politicians that it would be divisive for the people of Iraq.

Many activists and critics have taken to social media to express their shock, disapproval. and confusion over naming a school after an Iranian cleric, when Iran is openly trying to seize control of Iraq in the wake of ISIS’s retreat.

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