Iran and Iraq were once enemies when Saddam Hussein’s regime was in charge, but after the US-led invasion in 2003 the countries have grown closer because of the rise of Shi’ite political parties.
US army and intelligence officers are working on plans for covert operations against Iran in the Persian Iran wants to hold joint military exercises with Iraq, an Iranian news website reported on Monday, potentially increasing the alliance and link between Baghdad and Tehran. It comes as an Iranian diplomat visited Mosul and also after a commander of Iran’s air defenses indicated Tehran could work with Baghdad on its air defense requirements. Joint military exercises would be a major step in the alliance between the two countries.
The Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported on Monday that Iran Land Forces Commander Koumars Heydari suggested joint exercises in a meeting with Iraqi Deputy Commander of the Army Maj.-Gen. Tariq Abbas Ibrahim.
Iran and Iraq were enemies when Saddam Hussein’s regime was in charge, but after the US-led invasion in 2003, the countries have grown closer because of the rise of Shi’ite political parties and allies of Tehran who see Iran as a natural ally for Iraq. Iraq’s second largest party, the Fatah Alliance, is run by Badr Organization head Hadi al-Amiri, who once served alongside the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the 1980s.
However, Iraq has also said it does not want to be in the middle of the current Iran-US tensions. Baghdad was angered when US President Donald Trump indicated that US forces might use Iraq to “watch” Iran.