Baghdad/Tehran: In the last two weeks, anti-government protests have erupted in Iraq and Lebanon. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei has alleged that the protests were a plot of the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their allies, to destabilise the two countries. By stating that Iran knew well how to crush such protests, the supreme leader has directed the Iraqi and Lebanese governments to initiate aggressive action.
Khamenei, the most influential person in Iran, has taken serious cognisance of the situation in Iraq and Lebanon. The supreme leader claimed that the protests were orchestrated to topple the allied pro-Iran governments in Iraq and Lebanon. Furthermore, he targeted Saudi and the other Arab states, asserting that the United States, Israel and the West had hatched the plot while Iran’s regional rivals had fuelled the protests.
‘If rights are what the protestors demand, they should follow lawful procedures. However, if the governments of the two countries choose to take tough measures, it would lead to a state of anarchy,’ Khamenei warned. The supreme leader then suggested the Iraqi and Lebanese governments needed to adopt the action of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). ‘Such anti-government protests occur even in Iran. But we know very well, how to crush them,’ Khamenei said.
On the sidelines of the developments, General Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Iranian military’s most influential group Quds Force, visited Iraq and held discussions with a few of the government’s representatives. General Qassem Soleimani, reiterated Ayatollah Khamenei by advocating that the Iraqi government needed to crush the protests by using force.
Meanwhile, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has resigned, given the nationwide protests in Lebanon ongoing for the last two weeks. Nevertheless, the protestors have demanded the leaders of Amal and other political parties resign as well. On the other hand, the protestors in Iraq demand the resignation of Prime Minister Mahdi.
International analysts claim the instability in Iraq and Lebanon poses a significant challenge to Iran. Considering the developments, Khamenei and Soleimani appear to have provided instructions for intense action to crush the protests.