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Ayatollah Sistani Defies Iran to Promote Self-Governance in Iraq

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Hailed a liberator and a savior against ISIS after it dedicated its men, military expertise and efforts in neighbouring Iraq, Iran has now become the subject of Iraqis’ ire over its perceived political and ideological patronage, as well as the perceived arrogance with which Tehran has looked upon protesters, advocating violence to quell the budding rebellion.

If Iraq’s future still remains murky as the country contemplates constitutional bankruptcy, it is evident that its people, beyond all manners of religious, ethnic or tribal differences very much intend to stand together in their calls for self-governance and independence from foreign interventionism – even if by the hands of its most trusted allies against Islamic radicalism. But then again Iraq and Iran always enjoyed a complicated history, one peppered with betrayal and religious codependency.

But how did we get here when only a few months ago Iran stood strong in its regional alliances, claiming to its names several Arab capitals by virtue of its religious network and its self-affirmed call for all nations to define their respective identities in the rejection of both imperialism and western military interventionism – especially when wielded through Riyadh’s influence?

A child of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s islamic revolutionary ideology (1979) Iran post-shah wanted to rebuild the region to its image and thus counter the rise of its religious nemesis turned theocracy: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Crippled by punishing sanctions and relegated to the very outskirts of the international community Iran was never meant to rise a regional hegemon........

© New Eastern Outlook