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‘This is another way to extend the IRGC’s control of Iraq. Basically, they are creating another IRGC’ in Iraq
The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) General Hossein Salami reportedly said Monday that his forces were ready to expand ties with the Iraqi military and offered to train its western neighbor’s army.
Salami said the Islamic Republic was ready to “play an effective role in Iraq,” according to Iranian state-backed media. He further noted that in addition to advisory assistance and exchange of experiences, the IRGC was prepared to train Iraq’s armed forces “at different levels.”
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“We are after a strong Iraq while the Americans and Zionists are seeking to dominate the region and create insecurity in Iraq and Iran,” Salami told Iraqi Defense Minister Thabet Mohammad Said Reda in Tehran. Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was in Iraq last week for security talks.
Entifadh Qanbar, president of The Future Foundation NGO, told i24NEWS that according to his sources inside the Iraqi defense ministry, Reda is “a puppet controlled completely by the militia proxies of Iran.”
“The visit solidifies the control of Iran over Iraq through the IRGC using the excuse of training. The Iraqis are already fighters,” he continued. “This is another way to extend the IRGC’s control of Iraq. Basically, they are creating another IRGC” in Iraq.
In the mid-2010s, the Guards created large Shia militia forces in Iraq to fight against the radical Sunni Islamic State jihadist group, but it was speculated that they were also used to maintain influence in Iraqi politics. Many Iraqis have since protested against Tehran’s interference in their country.
On Sunday, Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani also stressed that Tehran was willing to share its expertise with Iraq to help it achieve “independence” and “self-sufficiency” in the military and defense industry.
Ashtiani’s remarks came in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Reda, who arrived in the Iranian capital on an official visit on Friday.