Press "Enter" to skip to content

Forty years following the war, have Iran and Iraq have gone from foes to friends?

In the 40 years, because Iran and Iraq went to war, both foes have grown near Tehran currently devoting considerable political and financial power in Baghdad.

Through the war, Iran provided a haven to a selection of anti-Saddam categories, from Kurdish statistics into the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution Iraq and its military wing, the Badr Corps — equally based in Iran in 1982.

It nurtured those connections significance it’d nearer, older ties compared to Washington didn’t Saddam’s successors.

Of Iraq’s six post-invasion prime ministers, three spent the 1980s at Tehran, such as Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Nuri al-Maliki, and Adel Abdel Mahdi, who resigned last year.

Badr Corps officials still maintain high positions in the security forces.

“It might have been difficult to imagine at the time that this could occur — which the parties connected to Iran would currently hold the reins,” Aziz Jaber, a political science professor at Baghdad’s Mustansariyah University and also a continuation of this battle, told AFP.

“Iran has adorable politicians,” he stated, adding that”it didn’t develop proxies solely with the aim of warfare — it’s benefitted from them because they came into power until now.”

Iran’s Financial lung
The connection goes far beyond politics.

While there was not any bilateral commerce under Saddam, ancillary products were smuggled into Iraq through the porous 1,600-kilometre (995-mile) border throughout the 1990s, when Baghdad confronted crippling sanctions.

After Saddam’s toppling, ordinary trade could start, stated Esfandyar Batmanghelidj of Bourse & Bazaar, an information and analysis site encouraging company diplomacy with Iran.

“It is the natural order of events for just two states that border one another to participate in trade. You can create a similar debate concerning Poland and Germany following the horrors of World War II,” he told AFP.

Since Iraq sought to reconstruct after the US-led invasion, cheap construction materials from Iran have been an attractive option. That commerce expanded to include meals, automobiles, medication, and today, even power imports.

By apricots to painkillers, European products are offered across Iraq, at lower costs than domestic goods.

Iraq is the best destination for Iran’s non-hydrocarbon goods, worth $9 billion ($7.7 billion) involving March 2019 and March 2020, based on Iran’s chamber of trade.

In July, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged to double that amount.

Together with Iran’s economy progressively strained by US sanctions because 2018, Tehran is relying upon Iraq increasingly as its economical lung.

“Iranian organizations are searching for someplace filled with customers, as you can not increase your earnings in Iran today as things are tough,” explained Batmanghelidj.

Iran’s ballooning influence in economics and politics has started to irk Iraqis.

“Iraqis in government now let Iran in. They passed over our nation — its market, security, and agriculture,” said Mohammad Abdulamir, a 56-year-old veteran of this war.

“I fought for five decades, and was a prisoner of war in Iran for the following 10 — and at the end, my nation was handed over to Iran,” he told AFP.

His frustration is felt by others and reached a head in October this past year when towering protests broke out in Iraq’s south and capital from a ruling course seen as corrupt, inept, and weak to Tehran.

Seconds later, a US drone attack on Baghdad murdered top Iranian overall Qasem Soleimani and former Iraqi army commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.