After playing a significant role in fulfilling Iran’s plans to secure its influence in Iraq and carve a route from Tehran to Beirut, Iranian Militias in Iraq and Syria (IMIS) plan to go the extra mile and help their main supporter, Iran, crush the recent unrest that gripped the country since Thursday.
IMIS terrorists have begun to recruit Shia Iraqis to help the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Basij forces suppress the protests that have erupted in many Iranian cities over the country's stagnant economy and rising living costs, sources told The Baghdad Post.
The Iran-backed militias have organized a large-scale campaign to encourage Shia Iraqis to join the militias' ranks, receive extensive military training and then head towards Iran to support IRGC forces in their attempt to crackdown the mass popular protests organized by Iranians angered by the country's funding of wars in Arab countries, such as Yemen and Syria, as citizens slide towards poverty, they noted.
The sources said that IMIS terrorists are hanging banners that call on Shia Iraqis to join IMIS to be moved to Tehran to fight alongside the IRGC and Basij forces.
IMIS are using the high unemployment rate among Shia Iraqis and the crippling financial crisis Iraq is facing. The militias' terrorists offer them competitive salaries to lure them to travel to Iran and fight peaceful protesters and prevent the Mullah regime from collapse, according to the sources.
Sent to Ahwaz
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that Ahwaz city in southwestern Iran has become a military barrack after Iraqi forces had been deployed across the city.
On its seventh day running, the protests have become the biggest challenge to the Iranian government's authority since mass demonstrations in 2009.
The death toll from days of anti-government protests climbed to over 21. About 450 people have been arrested over the past three days, according to state media.
The Iranian authorities have responded with mass arrests and by restricting the use of the social media apps Instagram and Telegram, used to organize the rallies.
Protecting Shia Crescent
In recent years, the Iranian government has spent billions of dollars annually supporting the repressive Syrian regime. Iran's powerful military chief, General Qasem Soleimani, has been leading the Iranian military operation inside Syria.
Also, Tehran has spent billions of dollars to support Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen and Shia militias in Iraq and Syria to help it create its Shia Crescent.
If the current protests lead to some sort of revolutionary change, Iran's strong financial and military support to active actors in the Syrian war — among them Hezbollah and the Assad regime's army — could suddenly shrivel up, analysts said.
This will also have major implications for Arab countries where Iran is playing a military role, not least Yemen, they noted.
That is why the Mullah regime is relentlessly clinging to power, suppressing demonstrations, shedding the blood of protesters to protect its long-awaited dream, they further stated.
But if the protesters succeeded in overthrowing the regime, Mullahs' dream will turn into a nightmare, they added.
IMIS maintain strong links with Tehran and pledge spiritual allegiance to Iran's leader Ali Khamenei. As such, they have been groomed and trained by Iran as reliable political and military allies.
Analysts say that the Shia militias serve to advance Iranian interests in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, stressing that they aim at building a corridor for Iran to extend its influence into the Levant.
The militias also serve as a kind of border guard, a sort of Iranian insurance policy against threats on its immediate border, they added.
IMIS resources, including heavy armor, drones, and military advisers, all come from Tehran.
It is not surprising that IMIS will use all its might to support the clerical establishment and the theological regime in Iran, analysts said.
The Mullah regime is the main funder of Shia militias in Iraq and Syria. If the protests succeeded in toppling the Mullah regime, this spring of money would dry up, they concluded.