Iraqi security forces take up positions around the Bahraini Embassy in Baghdad on June 27 after it was stormed by a mob. (Haydar Karaalp/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Attack on the Bahraini Embassy is an Attack on Iraq

Al-Sharq al-Awsat, London, July 3

The events of the storming of the Bahraini Embassy in the Mansour district of Baghdad, which is supposed to be the most guarded neighborhood in terms of security and surveillance, has caused serious concern. The concern is not about the embassy and its interests per se, but about Iraq and its sovereignty more broadly. Several news agencies recently revealed that the drone that attacked Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago came from Iraq, and not from Yemen, as was previously claimed by Iran and its Houthi agent. This is yet another event that undermines the sovereignty of Iraq by the hands of Iran. The storming of the embassy was not surprising to anyone familiar with the Iranian propaganda machine, and certainly to anyone in Baghdad itself, where a symposium dedicated to bashing Bahrain took place in the days preceding the incident. The Iraqis have the right to object to the Manama workshop and reject the idea of peace even though no actual proposal has been presented to date, and all of this opposition is hypothetical. The workshop was not attended by Israeli officials and is not the first of its kind in the region. But we know that Iran has chosen to launch an extensive attack against anyone taking part in the workshop. Iraqi leaders face a clear Iranian violation of their sovereignty. In Tehran’s eyes, Iraq is an easy battleground from which to launch attacks against the Gulf states and the West. Iran has been pretty successful so far at turning Iraq into another Lebanon. The mullahs plan to turn Iraq’s Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds against each other, exploiting the rivalries of their leaders and parties, and harnessing different militias to wreak havoc in the country. In my view, Tehran, because of its crisis with the European Union and the United States, is hastening the process of establishing its hegemony over Iraq. The mullahs in Tehran are clearly trying to drag Iraq into their war with the West. Will the Iraqi leadership in Baghdad remove its head from the sand and act to prevent this? The only way to resist this Iranian campaign is to be open and frank about its risks. The signs on the ground tell us that Teheran is interested in turning Iraq into its newest proxy. This is the real worry that the attack on the Bahraini Embassy brings to the fore. Therefore, alarming as the attack might be, the storming of the Bahraini Embassy is first and foremost an attack on Iraq and its ability to remain a sovereign state, independent of Iran. – Abd al-Rahman al-Rashed (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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