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The stones thrown by protesters in Iraq and Lebanon, not US drone strikes, will end Iranian influence in the region

Statement by the Revolutionary Socialists, 3 January 2020

Once again, US intervention has put a new stumbling block in the path of the rising social movement in the Middle East, simply in order to advance its own imperialist interests. Trump also wants to get out of his domestic crisis by appearing as the hero of the assassination of Qassim Sulaimani, leader of the Iranian Quds Force and the leader of the Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and perhaps of an imminent war with Iran.

Iraq, which has witnessed an uprising for months opposing sectarianism and confessionalism, where revolutionaries surrounded the Iranian embassy and consulates, will at the very least suffer divisions in the face of any possible US move, and the Iraqi government will exploit the incident to increase militarism and repression in the name of confronting “foreign conspiracies”.

And in Iran, where the regime has been experiencing an economic crisis and rising social protests during recent months, the regime will sweep away domestic opposition, bolstering its legitimacy by declaring “there is no voice louder than the sound of the battle”, and the cause of this is the “US, the Great Satan”.

Rather than the non-sectarian popular movement transforming into a revolution which could end these regimes completely, and redraw the map of the Middle East in a more humane way, Qassim Sulaimani – like Saddam Hussein before him – will be transformed into an icon of a new war in order to confront the external threat. All other voices will be silenced in order to resist this danger, thanks to the American drone strike.

We will not glorify Sulaimani, whose hands are steeped in the blood of Syrians and Iraqis, nor will we simply tail-end any “axis.” Our bet is always on the social movement from below to bring political change, the very movement which they are trying to wipe out, sometimes through the repression of sectarian militias, and sometimes through foreign military intervention.

Ending Iranian influence in the region will not come through American air strikes or sanctions, rather it will be ended by the popular movement of the Iranian people themselves, and by the movements of the peoples of the region such as Iraq and Lebanon against any foreign domination from either West or East.

The Revolutionary Socialists, 3 January 2020