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Iranian President Ahmadinejad: During a recent visit to Baghdad, his

frequent talk of a ‘common enemy’ for Iranians and Iraqis created

an outcry among Iraqis who resent Iranian meddling in Iraqi affairs.

 

 

Sotal Iraq, Iraq

Iran, Iraq and Our ‘Common Enemy’

 

"Who is this ‘common enemy’ referred to by the Iranian president? ... The statements of President Ahmadinejad represent a bald-faced attempt to draw Iraq into Iran’s extremist trench with the goal of making Iraq foot the bill for Iran’s foreign policy hostility toward the West and the United States. It is an attempt to drain Iraq’s economy and transform it into an Iranian hub for circumventing the blockade against Teheran."

 

By Abdullah al-Etabi

 

Translated By Nicolas Dagher

 

March 24, 2012

 

Iraq - Sotal Iraq - Original Article (Arabic)

Kuwaiti Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah with his entorage at the Arab League summit in Baghdad, March, 29. He is undoubtedly one of those Iranian President Ahmadinejad likes to refer to as Iran and Iraq's 'common enemy.'

AL-JAZEERA VIDEO: Iraq gears up to host Arab League summit, Mar. 10, 00:02:21RealVideo

Statements made by Iranian President Ahmadinejad during a press conference with Minister of Education Khodair al-Khozaei have triggered a wave of astonishment among Iraqis, particularly when Ahmadinejad spoke of how our two countries face a “common enemy.”

 

We don’t know what the Iranian president bases his opinions on. But it is clear that the new Iraq is distinguished by a political experience completely different from that in Iran. Iraq is a pluralistic county where a consensus must be found among different blocs, parties and currents in society. We have an active National Assembly with a boisterous political opposition and a diverse media that includes dozens of newspapers and satellite channels. Iraq is also opening itself to the international community and has strong relations with the European Union and United States, which have signed huge contracts to develop Iraq’s oil sector and signed dozens of important strategic agreements that will last for many years to come.

 

Based on that, the Iraqi political situation is completely different from the situation in Iraq, which has a revolutionary system based on the military mobilization of society and a religious authority represented by the Governance of the Jurist that reigns over all other authorities. Iran also has difficult foreign relations characterized by open alliances with objectionable revolutionary movements like Hezbullah, Hamas and the Syrian regime.

 

On that basis, Iran leads a grand regional coalition in based on a political vision clearly hostile to the West. Iran has an ambitious nuclear program aimed at strengthening its regional and international standing that has raised the hackles of the international community, which has in response imposed a series of sanctions and embargos.

 

The systems in the two countries are almost entirely contradictory in terms of structure, ideology and foreign relations, which explains why on almost every level, Iraq and Iran differ and could not possibly have a common enemy.

 

And who is this “common enemy” referred to by the Iranian president? Is it, as Iran claims, the West or the Zionists, both of which exchange ambassadors with Iraq, train its officers and upgrade its military and oil installations? Or is the common enemy the Gulf States and Turkey, with which Iraqi trade has reached record levels? Or is the common enemy the people in the region who have begun to raise their voices against the glaring contradiction of Iran’s foreign policy, which stands with the Assad regime in its savage repression of freedom in Syria?

 

I think the statements of President Ahmadinejad represent a bald-faced attempt to draw Iraq into Iran’s extremist trench with the goal of making Iraq foot the bill for Iran’s foreign policy hostility toward the West and the United States. It is an attempt to drain Iraq’s economy and transform it into an Iranian hub for circumventing the blockade against Teheran. Anyone who has tracked the decline in the value of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar, despite the massive amounts of dollars raised by the Iraqi Central Bank to strengthen the dinar, can see that hard currency is disappearing from Iraq and turning up in Tehran and Damascus.

 

 

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This has put the livelihoods of the Iraqi people under attack and is a result of attempts to force their lives to revolve around Iran. Ahmadinejad’s public utterances were regurgitations of things Tehran always says in regard to “dual relations” with Iraq, blaming “countries in the region that will not be named” for causing a division between Iran and Iraq. Meanwhile, as we all know, it is Iran that regularly violates Iraqi territory, raids our shared oil fields and expropriates the rights of Iraqis.

 

Meanwhile, sewerage from Iran waters continues to destroy Iraq’s environment and Tehran interrupts the flow of over 40 rivers and streams that once flowed through Iraqi territory - and Tehran still dominates the Iraqi market, exporting low-quality goods that aren’t even permitted to be sold on Iran’s market. 
 

I have no idea how Iran’s president can talk at a press conference about the ways Iraq and Iran can contribute to spreading security and peace in the region when Teheran continues to meddle in Iraq’s domestic affairs by backing militias and the provocative statements of its ambassador. I have no idea how Iran can take the thinking of Iraqis so cavalierly.

Posted by Worldmeets.US

 

The Iraqi people should ask themselves who these common enemies are, that are so frequently mentioned by Ahmadinejad. Is it the international community and the United Nations, after the reports of bonafide U.N. observers exposed Iran’s staunch support for the Assad regime and its savage repression of the Syrian people?

 

I think Iraq faces a major challenge. We must keep our distance from an Iranian policy that tries to popularize statements usually issued in the presence of Iraqi officials that give the impression that Iraq is under Iranian control and that Baghdad is standing in the same trench as Tehran. This damages the reputation of our nation when it should be open up to countries that pursue positive agendas and seek to invest in Iraq’s very promising economy. Iraq should be very wary of Iran’s attempt to control the region on the backs of Iraqis with its constant and brazen efforts to keep it under its thumb.

 

It would have been better for Minister al-Khozaei, who is accused of being a puppet of Iran, to have lessened the force of this accusation by responding - even if diplomatically - to such statements, especially when they are made at a joint press conference. Iraq should keep its distance from the Iranian axis and must prove that the new Iraq enjoys far-reaching relations with its neighbors and the international community. In addition to having no common enemies with Iran, it should demonstrate that it has no enemies at all.

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[Posted by Worldmeets.US March 29, 12:56pm]

 







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