Pro-Iranian groups are once again showing their hunts

Les groupes pro-Iran semblent montrer à nouveau les crocs

Three attacks against Western interests in a week in Iraq. Experts say pro-Iranian Iraqi militant groups suspected of firing are seeking to increase pressure on their government amid Iran’s impatience with the new US administration.

A U.S. military official explained Tuesday that rocket fire had erupted against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Incumbents, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States, are two serious forces in Iraq. The United States, led by the International Anti-Jihadi Coalition, is stationing about 2,500 troops there, backed by al-Hussein al-Sabi, a powerful ally of paramilitary forces affiliated with the Iranian government in Iraq.

After months of silence over an agreement reached by pro-Iranian factions, it faced threats from the United States to suspend its diplomatic mission.

The rockets landed near the US embassy in Baghdad on Monday. On Saturday, gunfire further targeted an Iraqi employee of a U.S. company responsible for maintaining F-16 aircraft, targeting an Iraqi air base north of Ballad. On February 15, rockets struck a military base supplying foreign coalition troops at Erbil Airport (north). Two people were killed, including a foreign civil contractor working in the coalition.

According to US officials, the modus operandi is equivalent to dozens of attacks against Western interests from late 2019 to late 2020.

But today, pro-Iranian groups accuse them of being behind the attacks. However, a turning point in not trusting security services. “This is a similar pattern of attacks, and intelligence reports show that others will follow suit,” the US official said anonymously.

Uncontrollable?

According to experts, the resumption of attacks is linked to a number of factors. First the “internal considerations”: Prime Minister Moustaba Qasimi has promised to control the armed groups and in return will challenge him, explains Anise Bassiri of the Royal United Service Institute. “They want to remind everyone that they are still there and that they are“ not in control, ”he says, adding that these groups – those with political branches – are showing their muscles in the run-up to the legislative elections scheduled for October.

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He also sees the attacks as a message sent from Tehran to Washington, as both adversaries stand firm on their position on the 2015 deal to shape Iran’s nuclear program. President Joe Biden wants to reaffirm the agreement the United States withdrew in 2018 under the Donald administration

Trump reintroduces suffocation sanctions against Iran. But Mr. Biden calls on Iran to withdraw from the deal it broke after sanctions were lifted. Iran must lift sanctions beforehand.

“Recent attacks could be an attempt to increase Tehran’s place in the maneuvers of Iran’s allies if they negotiate with the United States,” Anise Basri said.

Options

Finally, economic reasons may push Tehran to Baghdad. Iran, overwhelmed by sanctions, is trying to access an account issued by the Iraqi public bank in which Iraq pays for Iranian gas it imports. Iraqi officials say Baghdad is reluctant to release about $ 2 billion for fear of upsetting Washington. At the end of January, the head of the foreign operations of the Revolutionary Guards in Tehran, Esmail Ghani, met with a delegation of senior Iraqi officials. Sent a message from Qasim asking for the presence of armed groups in Iraq. Iraqi official. “Ghani told them that the actions of the armed groups in Iran (Iran) could not be controlled if money could not be taken into account,” he said.

In the aftermath of Monday’s last fire, Washington said Iran should “take responsibility for the actions of its allies in attacking Americans,” but stressed that it would avoid provoking an “increase” in its forces.

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MM Biden and Qasim discussed the attacks in a call on Tuesday, citing the importance of “holding those responsible accountable,” according to the White House. Nevertheless, a definite American reaction cannot be ruled out. “We have offered options, including strikes inside and outside Iraq, but we have not yet received a response from the administration,” the US official said.

Maya GEBEILY / AFP

Three attacks against Western interests in a week in Iraq. Experts say pro-Iranian Iraqi militant groups suspected of firing are seeking to increase pressure on their government amid Iran’s impatience with the new US administration.
“We’re back to where we were a year ago,” one explained …

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About the Author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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