Overblown Accusations of Iranian Interference (in Iraq War)
Iran Not a Factor in Primary Shi'a Insurgent Group
With the increase in Shi'a militia insurgent activity over the past few years, Iran has been frequently accused of playing a leading role in stoking the flames of volatility. On the Shi'a side, controversial cleric Al-Sadr had connections in Iran, but had always advocated a strong Iraq that cooperated with, yet remained firmly independent from Iran. Therefore, collaboration between Al-Sadr, along with his Mahdi Army, and Iran has been minimal to non-existent. Yet, from the Shi'a side, it is the Mahdi Army that has provided the greatest amount of resistance against the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. Other fringe Shi'a groups have occasionally engaged in armed rebellions, most with no proven ties to Iran.
Sunni Rebels Responsible for Most Insurgent Activities
In fact, it is Sunni rebels (primarily Al-Qaeda and former Ba'athists) that have been responsible for most of the violent insurgent activities overall, all of whom are bitter enemies of Iran.
Iran Ties to Current Iraqi Prime Minister
Ironically, Iran's chief ally inside Iraq has always been current Prime Minister Maliki and his Dawa political party. Maliki was upheld by Iran's Shi'ite Islamic Republic government after fleeing Iraq in 1979, upon learning that Saddam planned to have him executed. Maliki continued to oppose the Saddam regime while in exile, and immediately rose to political leadership upon his return after the U.S.-led invasion, being voted Prime Minister in 2006. However, Maliki and his Dawa Party have cooperated exceedingly well with U.S. forces, and have staunchly opposed insurgent activity. The current Iraqi government has been friendly toward Iran, but has clearly demonstrated its intent to maintain uncompromised sovereignty, keeping Iranian influence at bay. This nationalistic mentality is consistent with the nationalism shown by Shi'ite Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq War. Iran counted on support among the Shi'a majority in Iraq when it launched its offensive in 1982, an assumption that proved erroneous, as Shi'ites fought fiercely alongside fellow Iraqi Sunni Muslims.
Iran's Actual Impact
There have been Iranian-built weapons used against coalition forces in Iraq, and there have been Iranian intelligent agents operating inside Iraq. Nonetheless, Iran has had little impact on the massive instability in the country since the U.S. invasion, as the vast majority of insurgency efforts have been carried out by groups without Iranian backing or loyalties. In which case, Iran has played a minimal role at most in the post-invasion insurgency, despite repeated accusations by the Bush Administration blaming them for inciting violence and strife.
#3 - LEDO - 08/05/2015 - 16:09
#5 - LEDO - 08/20/2015 - 13:40