By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
In a sharp rebuke of the White House’s Iran diplomacy, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday and blasted the nuclear deal being negotiated between world powers and Tehran, warning that the agreement in the works “paves Iran’s path to a bomb.” It is not only a bomb that Tehran is after, they are slowly taking over Iraq. Iran will soon arise as a bear to consume much flesh. Today in Iraq, Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous), the Badr Brigades and Hezbollah are the three militias that have been instrumental in battling ISIS, the rival Sunni sect. These militias are the three small Iraqi Shi’ite armies, all backed by Iran, which together have become the most powerful military force in Iraq and are key to Iran’s power and influence inside neighboring Iraq.
Israel’s urging the U.S. to reject the deal will fail. The deal is currently under negotiation. Netanyahu telling congress that escalating pressure on Iran would result in a “better deal”, a proposition which has been long challenged by U.S. and other Western officials who will get their way and the world will sell out on Israel.
Netanyahu will fail to thwart Iran and six world powers race to reach an agreement by a self-imposed deadline later this month.
We can already see the results. Even before he uttered his first words, the address came under criticism. European Union Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini told reporters that “spreading fear” was not helpful at this stage of the delicate nuclear talks. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Netanyahu of “trying to create tension.” Dozens of Democrats stayed away from the chamber amid claims that the speech was a political attempt to undermine President Barack Obama.
All the rapturous reception punctuated with numerous standing ovations is only show, Netanyhau’s fears will come to pass and Iran will “build nuclear weapons and threaten the region’s future” exactly as Netanyahu declared. But what region, Netanyahu failed to include that a greater enemy to Iran is not Israel, his Jewish Bible says it will be Saudi Arabia as well, which will be attacked by Iran.
The U.S. Administration chose to ignore Israel and opted to sign a deal with the devil. “What he didn’t say was what would happen if there was no deal,” Feinstein said on CNN while Netanyahu correctly stated that “Iran could not be trusted to honor any deal it signed” since Netanyahu knows his history which proves beyond doubt that every deal in history that was signed by any tyranny state has always failed. It is for this reason that we at Shoebat.com rarely publish political tabloids on who said what, but focus on who is doing what. U.S. sanctions against Iran have been put on hold in Congress, with Senate Democrats preferring to let “diplomacy” (empty talk) run its course. In other words, while everyone talks the talk, Iran walks into Iraq.
The U.S. is gazing away from the encroaching Iranian forces taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel.
It must be obvious that to bolster its rising status as the leading regional power, Iran must reach the nuclear armaments to expand its territorial holdings.
They key to advancing these agendas is ISIS. While we rejoice when we see ISIS lose battles, what many fail to see, is that ISIS is the chip used to make all the moves to bolster two tyrannies, Iran and Turkey.
In the name of the war on ISIS, Iran’s military apparatus, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani reports to the Obama administration, through the Iraqi prime minister’s office, on the forthcoming military steps to defeat ISIS and waits for Washington’s approval, the very Washington that caused the collapse of Iraqi Armed Forces when Obama pulled out U.S. troops. The result is that Iran has filled the void left by Obama’s military and diplomatic disengagement from Iraq to only have this intervention by Iranian military and paramilitary forces in Iraq.
Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is not ‘Iraq cleaning the ISIS mess’, but Iran encroaching into Iraq. Suleimani is fiercely loyal to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. While he is viewed as a useful man to have by Shiite Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, who is scrambling to organize a counterattack against the Sunni jihadis of ISIS, this deal is not free.
Even for the Americans, the U.S. lacks the will to have its ground forces embroiled in another Middle East war. Had the U.S. played the chips correctly, it would rely on smaller powers like Egypt and Syria to take on ISIS. From a practical standpoint, the uniformity of interests between the Assad government and the Islamic Republic of Iran were independent of the Shia roots of the Syrian Alawite government while Egypt is against the coming threat of the neo-Ottoman Turks. It is always best to work with Arab states that fight ISIS in order to survive rather than work with Iran and Turkey who will only fight ISIS in order to consume.
Instead, Washington allows the two most regional powers like Iran to undertake this task, regardless that the US will allow Iran to reach the status of a pre-nuclear power and regional hegemon, while Tehran, in return, will send “boots on the ground” to fight in Iraq, Syria and even Afghanistan, allowing “the bear to eat much flesh” (Daniel 7:5). Iran through Iraq, we have always maintained, will prove the linchpin in an area of Iranian influence among predominantly Shiite governments and organizations that stretched across Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. This zone has been variously described as an Iranian or Shiite “Arc of Influence” or the Shiite Crescent.
And the evidence on the ground is beginning to reveal this by simple observation: who today is leading battles in Salahuddin Province to recover Tikrit from ISIS: the Iraqi army or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Shiite militia crowd?
Soleimani submitted to Iraq’s military in order to give instructions to the army and volunteers in the region pointing out that the people of the region received him warmly. Today the Iraqi forces, composed of 27 thousand troops in addition to the volunteer fighters, are nearing the control of the city of Tikrit within days. And now we see Soleimani working with Qais al-Khazali, the head of a militia called Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous) that is backed by Iran. He is one of the most feared and respected militia leaders in Iraq, and one of Iran’s most important representatives in the country. Alongside Asaib Ahl al–Haq, there are the Badr Brigades, formed in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War, and the younger and more secretive Kataib Hezbollah, which is regarded as a terrorist organization by the State Department. The three militias have been instrumental in battling ISIS, the rival Sunni sect. These militias are the three small Iraqi Shi’ite armies, all backed by Iran, which together have become the most powerful military force in Iraq since the collapse of the national army in June and are key to Iran’s power and influence inside neighboring Iraq.
It was in June of 2014, in response to the advances of ISIS in Iraq and the virtual collapse of Iraqi military forces, Iran began to provide direct military aid to the Iraqi government by deploying Quds Force soldiers to stiffen Iraqi positions in Samarra, Baghdad, and Karbala, as well as the former US base, Camp Speicher, in Tikrit. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard also deployed seven Sukhoi, Soviet era, Su-25 Frogfoot jets. They also began to supply arms and munitions to Peshmerga forces in Kurdistan. In December 2014, Iran allowed foreign media to confirm the presence of Iranian F-4 Phantom jets in Iraq striking IS positions in Diyala province. US sources later confirmed that the planes were Iranian but that US military forces were not coordinating air strikes with the Iranian military. Although the presence of the F-4 Phantoms was not disclosed till December, these were not the first Iranian planes to be operating in Iraq and it is likely that the F-4s had been operating there for some time.
And now, according to the prime minister in Iraq, the prime minister Haider al-Abadi is leading his own expulsion of ISIS.
The overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist government resulted in the emergence of a Shia dominated government in Baghdad replacing it with an Iraqi Shiite government friendly to Tehran. This eliminated what had been an existential threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran and had tipped the local balance of power significantly in Tehran’s favor. And once Iran cleans the ISIS mess in Iraq, we will all rejoice. Iran will be happy, the U.S. will be happy, while all we’ve done is chase out ISIS while Iran’s Shiite militias are already running amok in Iraq. All that, while Israel awaits the outcome, that when Sunni and Shiite want to put aside their differences in efforts to stabilize the region will begin by uniting both the Shiite and Sunni crescents, the two horns, the pincer if you will, by focusing and switching their energy towards Jerusalem.
And now Turkey’s government and military leaders are weighing options for a possible Turkish contribution to a planned military offensive against ISIS in Mosul. Erdogan of Turkey has his eyes on oil wealthy northern Iraq and Turkey in few years will arise to consume much flesh.
The influence of Mahdism is rooted in the two countries’ shared religious beliefs. Iran’s population is overwhelmingly Shi’ite, as are the majority of Iraqis. Tehran has built up its influence in the past decade by giving political backing to the Iraqi government, and weapons and advisers to the militias and the remnants of the Iraqi military, say current and former Iraqi officials.
The military operation to regain control of the city of Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s hometown from ISIS will succeed. The West will be happy to get rid of ISIS out of Iraq, while Iran will be happy to camp in Iraq permanently.