News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqSpecial Report: Iran meddling in Iraq elections, South -...

Special Report: Iran meddling in Iraq elections, South – 3

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Iran Focus: Baghdad, Dec. 16 – As part of a campaign to ensure the victory of its Shiite allies in the parliamentary elections, Iran attempted to buy votes in the southern Iraqi provinces for a list it backed during Thursday’s presidential elections in Iraq, according to reports received by Iran Focus.
Iran Focus

Baghdad, Dec. 16 – As part of a campaign to ensure the victory of its Shiite allies in the parliamentary elections, Iran attempted to buy votes in the southern Iraqi provinces for a list it backed during Thursday’s presidential elections in Iraq, according to reports received by Iran Focus.

In al-Qadisyah, the capital city of al-Diwaniyah province, Iranian agents offered secular Shiites money and food to participate in the polls and cast their ballots in favour of the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), led by Tehran’s long-time ally, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, the Shiite cleric who heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).

In al-Muthanna province, despite the general ban on campaigning on the day of the vote, vehicles belonging to the Interior Ministry were seen in the capital city of al-Samawah advertising in favour of list “555”, which represents the UIA on the balloting forms.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry has been largely infiltrated by members of SCIRI who are believed to have maintained their loyalties to their organisation.

Based in Iran for two decades before the United States-led war that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, al-Hakim led SCIRI and its military wing, the Badr Brigade, which carried out attacks on targets in Iraq.

Al-Hakim’s close Iranian ties and growing influence in Iraq has led many to fear that Iraq was heading toward closer ties with Iran, and, possibly, the establishment of a government based on Iran’s theocratic model.

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