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Shafaq News / The British “Middle East Eye” website revealed, on Thursday, an order given by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, last week, to the Iraqi Shiite factions to stop their attacks on American interests immediately.
The site quoted a prominent commander of one of the Iranian-backed armed factions participating in the attacks as saying that Khamenei’s orders were clear and explicit: “All attacks that target US interests in Iraq must stop.”
The Hezbollah Brigades, the faction most hostile to the United States and accused of carrying out most of the attacks, were the first to respond to Khamenei’s orders, and Harakat al-Nujaba and other smaller factions soon followed.
While a prominent commander in one of those factions participating in the attacks said to the British website: “The Americans seek to pit people against us in various ways, so we decided to thwart the efforts of the Americans in this regard, which is more important than targeting the American embassy.”
He added, “Calming the Iraqi street, preserving the Iraqi government and the political process is a priority now, and therefore it has been decided to stop all attacks targeting US interests in Iraq until the danger passes.”
The major shift in the position of the armed factions backed by Iran, and the timing of the announcement of this unilateral truce, raised many questions about the real purpose behind the decision, its circumstances, its duration, the guarantor of the decision, and most importantly, the identity of the decision-maker.
Iraqi officials and leaders of armed factions told the website that the armed factions were encouraged to attack American targets in order to pressure Trump and his allies inside Iraq, and push them to take reckless moves that lead him to lose the elections.
Nevertheless, it seems that the calculations have changed after the Iranians confirmed the seriousness of the threats that Pompeo conveyed through Iraqi President Barham Salih, that the United States would strike the interests of Iran and its allies inside Iraq, according to a prominent Shiite leader close to Tehran.
The politician who participated in the talks with Iran told the British website that the Iranians had received very important advice from a common ally who had a clear role in changing their position, and the advice stipulated to avoid provoking Trump at this stage, because he is serious about his threats, and because he is desperate and will not hesitate to take any A reckless act will cost everyone heavy losses. Any military move inside Iraq now means the fall of the Iraqi government, and Iran itself will not be able to deal with the repercussions of the fall of the government, especially the repercussions of a political, financial and economic nature.
That alleged “common ally” is Britain, a country that Shiite leaders see as the real party on the Iraqi scene at the present time, and he is credited with persuading the Iranians to avoid provoking the Americans and pursue the option of appeasement.
The politician added that there is no clear information, but all indications indicate that the British were the ones who played an influential role this time, although they did not appear in the picture as usual.
Unusually, Khamenei’s instructions were not transmitted this time to the armed factions through the usual channels or to Iranian officials operating in Iraq.
Instead, given its importance, the leaders of the most prominent factions were summoned to Qom to meet with Khamenei, according to 3 of the faction leaders, including the oldest Iranian-backed Shiite group in Iraq, the Badr Organization, the Hezbollah Brigades, and the most influential faction, Asaib People of truth, and there was more than one meeting with Khamenei.
While a prominent leader of one of the armed factions said that the essence of the orders issued was preserving power in the hands of the Shiites, and this means preserving the position of the prime minister and the current government, Khamenei says that Al-Kazemi is Shiite, regardless of whether he is good or bad from our point of view, and he will leave his post Sooner or later, but the position must remain in the hands of the Shiites.
The commander added that Khamenei had warned that any attacks now would threaten Al-Kazemi’s rule, and thus the political strategies of everyone, and “therefore, any activities that might threaten the Iraqi government or place it at the mercy of the Americans must stop immediately.”