Iran is now facing complete isolation following the reactions and solidarity seen from Arab and regional countries on the attack staged against the Saudi embassy and consulate in Tehran and Mashhad. Iran attempted to use Quds Force-associated Shiite militias in Iraq to place pressure on the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and force Baghdad to support Tehran.In this regard with anti-Saudi demonstrations launched in Iraq by Shiite militias and Quds Force elements, Shiite militia commanders were assuring the Iranian embassy in Baghdad of their readiness to show any adequate reaction to the execution of the controversial Shiekh Nimr al-Nimr, in order to destroy the recently opened Saudi Embassy in Baghdad. With diplomatic relations improving between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, it is the policy of Iran to lead these efforts into a failure and force the Saudi Embassy in Baghdad to close down. The al-Abadi government, who has recently launched a relationship with Riyadh, gave a positive vote to a recent Cairo summit statement and the statement of Islamic countries foreign ministers condemning Iran’s measures against Saudi Arabia. As a result, al-Abadi poured cold water on Iran’s policies. On the other hand Shiite militia groups linked to the Quds Force in Iraq are now set aside by Iraqi armed forces in their clashes against ISIS, and they are completely eliminated due to their sectarian nature and social killings.
All these elements have forced the mullahs’ regime and Quds Force to sit down and think. Their new efforts are summarized in forming a new force of Shiite militias to render changes in the status quo aimed at advancing its own political objective in Iraq. To this end, they have formed a new unit dubbed the “Nimr al-Nimr Brigade”.
On December 5th Iraqi Shiite militias launched an attack completely coordinated with the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad against the newly opened Saudi Embassy in Baghdad. Following the political consequences, the formation of a new Shiite militia a group by the name of the “Nimr al-Nimr Brigade” was placed on the agenda for the Quds Force and Iraqi Shiite militia commanders.
The decision to form the al-Nimr brigade was reached in a session where Danaie-Far, Iran’s ambassador in Baghdad, commanders of various Quds Force-associated Shiite militia groups including Akram al-Ka’bi, Qeis al-Khazali, Ali al-Yaseri (commander of the Saraya Khorasani). In this session Danaie-Far said the al-Nimr Brigade must act in the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Shiite militias across the Arab region. A decision was made in this session to have a number of Quds Force-associated militias from Lebanon and other Arab countries in the region recruited into this new unit.
In December the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad sent al-Nojba militia leader Akram al-Ka’bi and Asaeb al-Haq leader Qeis al-Khaz’ali to Tehran to meet with Quds Force commanders and negotiate over details and the forces assigned to form the al-Nimr Brigade.
Al-Khaz’ali and al-Ka’ib returned to Iraq after meeting with Quds Force commanders in Tehran and began the necessary preparations to recruit Shiite militias for the al-Nimr Brigade.
Following the initial preparations, the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad arranged the necessary coordination for al-Khaz’ali to meet with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nassrollah. As a result, al-Khaz’ali travelled to Lebanon in late January to meet with Nasrollah where the Hezbollah leader pledged to provide a percentage of the al-Nimr Brigade units.
In mid-December Shiite militias associated to the Quds Force in Iraq formed a joint headquarters for the necessary coordination to form the al-Nimr Brigade in order to make decisions on the ranks and file system, and how to recruit new members for this group. The headquarters base for these militias was located in Baghdad’s Basmaye district.
Most of the al-Nimr Brigade members are troops of the Popular Mobilization Forces. These units are amongst the troops who fled the battlefronts and returned to their homes after operations around the city of Baiji, north of Baghdad. A high-ranking al-Nimr Brigade commander is an individual by the name of “Zir Ali” and the ranks and files of this new force is on the verge of completion. The commander of this group is an individual by the name of Haj Abu Shima al-Shemeri who is temporarily placed in charge of this unit. He is very close to Abu Mahdi Muhandis, deputy commander of all Popular Mobilization Forces units, and their base is located in Baghdad’s Rasheed district.
The main mission the al-Nimr Brigade has been appointed to is murdering, various crimes and assassinating political and government figures specified by the Quds Force and Shiite militias’ joint operations command. These subjects are identified as operations targets.
The conclusion is the Iranian regime has not only learned no lesson from the attack staged on Saudi interests in Iran, in fact by forming the al-Nimr Brigade they are seeking to further meddle in Arabic countries, especially Saudi Arabia. The nuclear deal and billions of dollars being unfrozen have all encouraged Iran’s meddling ambitions.