Tehran decries foreign influence in Iraq protests

Al-Monitor – The growing unrest in neighboring Iraq over corruption has become such a concern for Iranian officials that military leaders and even Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have recently warned that despite their valid economic and political grievances, the protests could lead to instability in the country under the influence of foreign countries.

The Line of Hezbollah, a weekly Iranian publication that analyzes and disseminates the positions of Ayatollah Khamenei, headlined its latest edition “American Sedition.” It reported that the Iraqi protests have been based on “legitimate demands,” but that on the “margins of these protests, the role of foreigners cannot be ignored.” The paper pointed to a visit by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper before the protests and the Basra police chief’s claim that Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “are paying people to create instability inside Iraq.”

The report explained that Iran is familiar with the tactics used by the United States to create instability, claiming that the country has “60 years of experience” with US meddling. The article cited the 1953 coup all the way to the 2017-2018 protests as examples of US interference in Iran’s domestic politics.

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