Skip to main content

How Iraqis view Iran’s influence in their country

Iranian statements on the role of Iraqi armed groups in protecting Iranian national interests are a violation of Iraq’s national sovereignty, Iraqi officials say.
Shi'ite fighters chant slogans in al-Fatha, northeast of Baiji, October 18, 2015. Iraqi forces backed by Shi'ite militia fighters say they have retaken a mountain palace complex of former President Saddam Hussein from Islamic State fighters, as government forces push ahead on a major offensive against the insurgents.  REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani  - RTS4Z0Y

The Iranian chief of staff for the armed forces, Mohammad p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Calibri; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Bagheri, triggered outrage on the April 23 anniversary of the founding of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with his comment, “The Revolutionary Guard along with the Islamic resistance [Shiite factions] in Syria and Iraq have become a shield protecting the Iranian people.”

Iran has a growing military presence across the region, from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and Yemen, via local militias that are proxies of the Iranian regime. This has divided local societies over whether that presence protects their interests or simply the national interests of Iran itself.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.