After two weeks of silence on Iraq and Lebanon protests, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called for “security” in the two countries, where protesters were raging against the Iranian regime’s allies.
“Security is one of the most important and effective factors needed in a society,” he stressed.
“The biggest harm that enemies can do to a country is to deprive it of its security. This is what you see today in some of the countries in our region that the enemies have started, depriving people of security; the elements behind these atrocities are well known,” he added.
He addressed his allies in Iraq and Lebanon telling them that their number one priority should be to find a “solution for the lack of security.”
He also recalled the Iranian regime’s crack down on popular protests in the past boasting that they had successfully quelled Iran’s uprisings.
Khamenei’s comments were made a day after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri stepped down after failing to agree with Hezbollah and its allies on a cabinet reshuffle.
His resignation came hours after supporters of Hezbollah attacked demonstrators in central Beirut, destroying their tents.
Hariri and other officials have realized that protests in the country are not merely economical and that the political structure of the country must change.
Iraq and Iran’s direct meddling
In Iraq, mass anti-government protests this month have left hundreds dead, and thousands injured, mostly due to brutal suppression by Hashd al-Sha’bi and other Iran-backed militias. The protesters are calling on Iran to stop meddling in their country.
According to a new report by the Associated Press, a day after protests erupted in Iraq, Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani flew to Baghdad late at night and took a helicopter to the heavily fortified Green Zone, where he surprised a group of top security officials by chairing a meeting in place of the prime minister.
Soleimani is the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, and the architect of the regime’s regional security apparatus.
In the meeting, he told Iraqi officials that Iran “knows how to deal with protests,” asking Iraqi officials to do the same in Iraq.
And they did.
“The day after Soleimani’s visit, the clashes between the protesters and security forces in Iraq became far more violent, with the death toll soaring past 100 as unidentified snipers shot demonstrators in the head and chest. Nearly 150 protesters were killed in less than a week,” AP reported.
Despite the violent crack-down, Iraq protests are still ongoing with calls for the ouster of Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi.
In an exclusive report yesterday, Reuters said that Soleimani directly interfered, stopping the ouster.
Iran spends millions on its foreign militias
The Iranian regime deems Iraq and some other regional countries as its “strategic front-line”, and would do anything not to lose its dwindling influence.
This becomes more evident when we realize just how much money the Iranian regime is willing to spend to keep its sway.
Yesterday U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told Al Arabiya TV that Iran has spent $16 billion on its militias in Iraq and Syria.
In a 2016 video, the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, said that “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The Iranian theocracy deems any threat to is power, influence and existence as a matter of “security”.
On October 29, Iranians were banned from celebrating Cyrus the Great Day at his tomb in Shiraz, in southwestern Iran because the regime saw it as a “security” threat.
Labor gatherings by HEPCO and AzarAb workers in the western city of Arak are “security” threats and workers, who were demanding months of delayed paychecks, were brutally beaten and detained during their last gathering.
The people of Lordegan, in southwestern Iran, were brutally suppressed this month for demanding answers after more than 200 villagers were infected with HIV due to a health negligence. Again, another security threat.
Since it took power 40 years ago, the regime has been focused on curbing civil liberties, because granting these kinds of freedoms to its citizens is a “security” threat.
Khamenei knows that if his allies lose their “security” in the region, he will also lose his inside Iran.