Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 12 Iran is setting the grounds to influence Thursdays parliamentary elections in Iraq by
sending its agents across the border in large numbers under the guise of pilgrims, according to a Baghdad security official. Iran Focus
Baghdad, Dec. 12 Iran is setting the grounds to influence Thursdays parliamentary elections in Iraq by sending its agents across the border in large numbers under the guise of pilgrims, according to a Baghdad security official.
The official told Iran Focus that Iranian agents were entering Iraq in pilgrimage convoys and travelling to their predetermined destinations where they would start to influence ordinary Iraqis to vote for political groups allied to Tehran.
The convoys were under the supervision of the Dawa Party, a pro-Iran Shiite group.
Many of the convoys were also carrying large quantities of election campaign posters.
Earlier this month, Iran Focus learnt that campaign posters were being brought to Iraq from Iran through border crossings in the provinces of al-Amara and al-Kut, southern Iraq.
The campaign posters were all in favour of Shiite Iraqi groups and personalities with extensive ties to Tehran, among them Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim.
Iran has been actively helping its long-time ally, al-Hakim, the cleric who heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI). Based in Iran for two decades before the U.S.-led war that toppled Saddam Husseins regime in 2003, al-Hakim led the Badr Brigades, the military wing of SCIRI, in a violent cross border struggle against Iraqi forces.
Al-Hakims close Iranian ties and growing influence in Iraq has led many to fear that Iraq was heading toward closer ties with Iran, and, possibly, the establishment of a government based on Iran’s theocratic model.