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The Attack on the US Embassy in Iraq: A Repeat of the 1979 Takeover of the US Embassy in Iran?

US Embassy in Iran, 1979 - US Embassy in Iraq, 2019 Attack on US Embassy in Iran, 1979 (L) - Attack on US Embassy in Iraq, 2019 (R)

On 4 November 1979, a number of so-called students of the Imam Khomeini line (then Iranian regime supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini), attacked the US embassy in Tehran. The attack turned into one of the major international crises by taking 66 US diplomats as hostages.

Reasons for the 1979 attack on US Embassy in Iran:

At that time, a huge youth force who backed democratic groups was making a strong push for freedom in the Iranian society. At the forefront of these groups was the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahedin-e-Khalgh (MEK), which was a progressive Muslim movement against Khomeini’s reactionary Islam.

Because of the MEK’s progressive viewpoint, they were attracting the young force of society. Khomeini decided to divert the liberated youth force after the revolution. As a result, a few reactionary students who supported Khomeini mobilized and stormed the US embassy in Tehran to wreak havoc on Iran’s social conflicts by creating an international crisis. In doing so, Khomeini sought to create an international crisis and mislead Iran’s social conflict.

40 years later: A repeat of the event but in Iraq in 2019

On December 31, 2019, Iranian-backed militia attacked the US embassy in Iraq. Present in the attacks were well-known Iran-backed militia leaders such as Hadi Al-Amiri, the head of the Badr Organization; Jamal Jafaar Mohammed Ali Ebrahimi, known by the kunya Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of the Iraqi Kata’ib Hezbollah militias; Falih Alfayyadh, the commander of the Al-Hashd al-Shaabi; and al-Nujaba’s leader Qais al-Khazali.


Qasem Soleimani, Hadi al-Amiri and Abu Mehdi al-Mohandes together in Iraq

Iraqi provinces have witnessed massive demonstrations since October 2019.Tired of government corruption and politicians affiliated with the Iranian regime, Iraq’s people launched a nationwide uprising after enduring 17 years of Iranian intervention in their country. These uprisings led to the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

Iran-backed factions tried to dictate a new Iraqi prime minister through political maneuvering. In a statement issued on 28 December 2019, the Central Committee of the Iraqi October Protests said that “protesters reject certainly any candidate for the post of Prime Minister who participated in the political process after 2003.”

The Committee pointed out in its statement that the protesters are not willing to provide any candidate or plan as a solution until the parliament, which is dominated by Iran and formed by corrupt parties, is dissolved.

The extensive uprisings in Iraq have frustrated Iran’s plan to dominate Iraq and put the regime in a deadlock. So, the Iranian regime is trying to replicate the 1979 scenario that is, it wants to try to divert the uprising of the Iraqi people and lead them in another direction.

Will the Iranian regime succeed in misleading the October uprising of the Iraqi people?

It is not clear to anyone that the Iranian regime was attacking the US embassy in Iraq by proxy forces.

In a tweet on January 1st, Mike Pompeo acknowledged the Iranian regime’s involvement in the attacks.

The reality is that the Iranian regime in 2019-2020 is not in the position of 1979. At the time, Khomeini had just rose to power in Iran. He had political and religious legitimacy and could make a strong stand against the US by occupying the US Embassy in Tehran. The embassy taking ended in January 1981 with the acceptance of the Algiers Accords by the US and Iranian governments.

But today the Iranian regime is not in such a position. Nationwide uprisings in Iran have been ongoing since November 2019, and regional sanctions and US sanctions have put the regime in a very fragile position. The presence of an alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has pushed the entirety of this regime toward collapse.

Analysts draw conclusions from embassy attack in Iraq that the Iranian regime is in a deadlock, and there is no way out and the regime is doing everything to create a crisis and reduce the pressure on the regime. But these actions bring the regime closer to the brink of overthrow, actions that regularly break the bridges behind them and it has become an irreversible path.

About Siavosh Hosseini (354 Articles)
My background is in the visual arts, particularly in photojournalism. I have had the opportunity to cover scores of international artistic and news events in the US and across Europe since the mid-1980s. I was active in television newsrooms and production as a graphic designer and producer for more than 12 years in different television and news outfits in Europe.

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