Monday, May 21, 2007


Iranian Domination Continuing To Spread In Iraq

Iran, Iraq
(Asharq Al Awsat Newspaper AR.) - 19 MAY - Twenty kilometers south of Baghdad is where Madain City is located. In the Iranian language, this city is called “Taysafour,” which was the capital of the Persian Empire. This city also contains the Kisra Arch which was an important archeological site until the Iran-Iraq war started. Then, the former Iraqi President, Saddam Husayn, ordered that the arch not be taken care of because it represents the Persian occupation. Parts of the arch began to collapse. Some of Madain’s citizens say that militias attacked Sunnis in Madain in order to allow the Iranians to rebuild the arch.
Iranian authorities have been working to destroy the Crossed Swords monument in Baghdad. The Crossed Swords memorial represents Saddam’s hands holding two Arab swords and on the ground there are tens of helmets of Iranians killed or captured during the ‘Qadasiya’, Iran-Iraq War. These swords were almost torn down by a governmental decision. However, efforts by Mustafa Al Khadhmi, General Manager of the Iraqi Memorial Institute, prevented the Iraqi government from tearing down the swords and removing the Iranian helmets.
The Iranian domination in Iraq has been hidden in some places but it is clear in many other places. Asharq Al Awsat Newspaper walked through some Iraqi markets to reveal the Iranian domination in Iraq. Iranian goods are controlling the Iraqi markets. These products carry labels in the Iranian language. When anyone goes to a pharmacy in Baghdad to buy medicine, the salesman will ask if he prefers to buy Iranian, Jordanian, or western medicine. The Iraqis choose Iranian goods because they are cheapest.
The historical market of Shorja is full of Iranian goods. Iraqi citizens can find Iranian merchants talking in Farsi in this market. In Iraq, the Persian language is not strange to hear anymore. Also, Iranian money, the ‘Tumal and Riyal’, is very popular in the Baghdad, Najaf, and Karbala markets. An Iraqi doctor living in Basrah said, “We must learn Farsi to communicate with people.” Iraqis remember the parliament member who demanded the previous parliament count the Persian nationality as the fourth nationality in Iraq along with Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen.
The Iranian presence in Karbala is now more than in Najaf because Karbala has the two holy shrines of Ali Hussein and Al Abbas. In the markets of Karbala you can meet with hundreds of Iranian visitors. Najaf’s citizens do not want to allow the Iranians to increase their presence in the city. In Karbala and Najaf there are many Iranian libraries which are promoting Iranian books. When you take a close look inside the shrines you can see thousands of Iranian tumals and riyals donated by Iranian visitors to the shrines.
If you visit any money exchange office in Karbala and Najaf, you will see photocopies of Iranian currency hanging on the front doors of these offices. Although the economy is growing in Karbala, the local citizens of Karbala are complaining about the Iranian presence. An Iraqi teacher, Hussein Al Khafaji, said that Iranian brings drugs with them and sell hashish in public. The security forces have arrested many Iranian families which have been dealing drugs. Now anyone who wants hashish can come from Baghdad and the other provinces to Karbala to buy it.
Another negative phenomenon is the pleasure marriages of Iranian women. Iraqi Shiites do not accept this type of marriage. However, now this kind of marriage is normal in Karbala. Marriages between Iraqi men and Iranian women are now a very common thing. The other phenomena you can now see is Iraqi women who are applying for this kind of marriage because of their poor economic situation. Hussein Al Khafaji further stated, “I’m not talking about the religious aspect but I see the younger Iraqi generations obtaining hashish and marriages of one or two hours.”
The most important thing is that there are many young Iraqi men and women studying Iranian culture and language in Basra, Karbala, and Najaf. Also, the greeting words between young men have changed from Arabic to “Khobi”, the Iranian greeting for “how are you,” instead of ‘Shlonik’, Iraqi for “how are you.” Even Iranian songs are becoming popular in Iraq. Iraqi girls are now wearing the ‘Chaduri’, the Iranian custom of covering the body. A female student at Babil University stated that Iranian ‘chadur’ is more modern and it gives young women the freedom to move around the community.
Iraqi politicians give us even more signs of the Iranian presence. Ayad Jamal Al Din, a liberal religious leader and an Iraqi List Parliament member said, “Economically, Iran is controlling the Iraqi markets by exporting vegetables and fruits and everything else. Therefore, the Iranian merchants control the Iraqi markets.” He added, “Culturally, anyone visiting Iraq will see Iranian cultural centers everywhere.”
Jamal Al Din also said, “Iranian intelligence is very active in Iraq.” Shiite leaders are concerned about the danger of the Iranian presence because no one is trying to stop them. Iran has been funding Shiite parties and is spending millions and millions for the propaganda of these parties. He added, “Iran invites hundreds of Iraqis weekly to come and visit the shrines in Iran for free. Iranian officials organize classes for these visitors for three weeks.”
Mithal Al Alousi, the head of the National Iraq Party said, “The Iranian presence is becoming involved in the ordinary lives of Iraqis.” Al Alousi added, “We are now entering a new stage of the Iranian presence in Iraq. Previously, the Iranians supported the militias with weapons and money. Now they can control the economy and communications in our lives.”
He further stated, “Iraq imports all its energy [gas, benzene, and other fuels]. Now, if Iran has any type of crisis, then Iran will have the same crisis.” He added, “Iran is looking to control the energy resources in Iraq. Also, the Iranians are looking to control the communication companies.
Recently, the Iraqi government has even opened governmental companies to private companies. Iranian companies have entered Iraq’s communication’s industry. We all know the dangers of this issue. The Iranian government will control the entire communications system in Iraq. If the government gives this privilege to Iran, then 10,000 employees will lose their jobs.”
Al Alousi also spoke about another important issue of educational books which are printed in Iran. The Minister of Education insists that the books should be printed by Iranian companies. This issue turned Iraqi printing offices and workers into armies of the unemployed. Al Alousi said, “I have talked to the Minister of Education about giving Iraqi printing offices the contracts for printing the educational books, but we did not reach an agreement.”
Al Alousi gave indications of the hidden Iranian presence which intends to sabotage the Iraqi economy by smuggling oil through Basrah’s ports. He said that the Iranian government is involved with oil smuggling in order to break Iraq’s economy. Al Alousi warned about Iran’s weapons development. Iranian rockets could reach Iraqi cities if any conflict occurred between Iraq and Iran. Iran and all of the regional countries are participating in forming the new Iraq. Iran has a very negative role in Iraq and it should be prevented.

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