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Militias threaten to target any Saudi investment projects in Iraq.
The struggle for influence in Iraq is coming to light everything The Iraqi government, which aspires to solve the severe economic crisis in Iraq by establishing partnerships with the countries of the region and attracting foreign investments, collides with an inappropriate political reality, represented by the influence of the pro-Iranian parties and militias and their ability to strike any project that contradicts the Iranian interest using several methods, starting with political and media pressure, up to Threat to use a weapon.
Baghdad - Saudi Arabia abandoned early on a huge project that was in discussion with the Iraqi side and is based on investing large areas of Iraqi land in agriculture, due to the lack of water needed for the project, according to the official Iraqi version, while unofficial sources attributed the matter to severe pressures exerted by Iran's arms in Iraq from politicians and leaders of Shiite militias armed to the Iraqi authorities to stop the path of partnership that Baghdad and Riyadh began to build quickly and eagerness, raising Tehran's concerns and concern over its influence in Iraq.
The Iraqi Minister of Agriculture Muhammad al-Khafaji said that Saudi Arabia backed away from the idea of investing nearly three billion dollars in the agricultural sector in his country, explaining the matter to "water shortages."
Over the past weeks, specialized Iraqi and Saudi delegations have held meetings in Baghdad and Riyadh, to discuss the possibility of investing millions of dunams of Iraqi desert lands in the governorates of Anbar, Najaf and Muthanna.
The two countries did not announce the final results of these meetings, but many sources confirmed that a promising agreement had been reached, according to which Saudi Arabia would invest nearly three billion dollars in the agricultural sector and livestock inside Iraq. It seemed that these Iraqi-Saudi understandings provoked Iran to the maximum and pushed it to move its arms inside Iraq to thwart it at an early date.
The Iraqi media run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, such as the "Afaq" channel owned by the leader of the Islamic Dawa Party, Nouri al-Maliki, and the "Al-Ahed" channel, owned by the leader of the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia, Qais Khazali, launched a widespread attack on the Saudi investment plan in the Iraqi agricultural sector, indicating that it was an attempt. To occupy Iraqi lands.
Saleh Al-Hamdani: Any foreign investment in Iraq requires Iran's approval first. Al-Maliki and Khazali participated personally in attacking Saudi investments within the Iraqi agricultural sector, and they said it was a plan to destroy Iraq's underground water reserves.
The Al-Fateh parliamentary bloc, which includes representatives of the militias affiliated with Iran in the Iraqi parliament, demanded that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi be questioned about Saudi investments in Iraq, accusing him of supporting Arab-Israeli normalization plans through the Iraqi economy gate.
The matter developed a lot, and moved to direct field threats, when special groups were held, which is a description of small combat groups linked to the large militias affiliated with Iran whose mission is to attack embassies, airports and camps with Katyusha rockets, and the Quarter of God who are crowds of young civilians whose mission is to surround the headquarters of the diplomatic authorities The political and media organizations that criticize Iran, and the Abu Jaddaha Front, which are groups whose mission is to storm the headquarters of diplomatic missions, and political and media bodies that criticize Iran and burn it, as happened with the headquarters of MBC Iraq a few months ago. "Any scope for Saudi investment will be a target for allied groups."
The meeting acknowledged that "there is no room for any Saudi investment except after compensating the families of the martyrs who were victims of Saudi bomb booby-traps and fatwas, executing terrorists in al-Hoot prison and healing the hearts of Iraqi mothers from the south, west and north," noting that "blood does not fall under the statute of limitations." The meeting considered that "the phrase (we have opened a new page) is a meager joke, as the pages are not opened until after the mistakes are made up, and the blood money paid."
But the Iraqi Minister of Agriculture, Muhammad al-Khafaji, offered information related to Saudi investment plans, calling for ridicule of the Iranian escalation, which seemed to be based on illusions. Al-Khafaji said that Saudi Arabia asked Iraq for an estimate of the possibility of reforming millions of desert dunams in three governorates, through projects to raise cows.
He added that his ministry conducted a careful survey of the targeted areas, and presented its results to the Ministry of Water Resources, which is responsible for determining the validity of lands for agricultural investment.
Al-Khafaji added that the expected Saudi investments required spending billions of dollars, which necessarily necessitates the existence of adequate guarantees, noting that Saudi Arabia requested a guarantee that Iraq would commit to providing water sustainably for a period of 50 years in the targeted areas. He stressed that the Ministry of Water Resources responded that the available groundwater in these areas does not cover the needs of more than five years, which prompted Saudi Arabia to retreat from its plans.
The minister pointed out that the alternative is to grant limited areas of land to small investors, who can benefit from the quantities of groundwater available in these areas. Observers say that what happened in this file embodies Iran's decision to target all that is Saudi in Iraq, even if the matter is related to projects that have not been finally approved.
Saleh al-Hamdani, a prominent Iraqi blogger, says any foreign investment in Iraq must win Iran's approval first. Iraq suffers a significant decline in the performance of most service sectors, coupled with an economic crisis related to the country's reliance on selling oil only, and another financial represented by an acute shortage of liquidity.
Iraqis blame the devastation of the economy on the policies pursued by the Iranian-backed Shiite parties since 2003, as the local industry was destroyed and the state was overburdened by legions of employees not carrying out actual tasks, as well as the spread of administrative and financial corruption in official institutions, which turned the government into a large and flabby entity paralyzed.
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