IRANIAN DIRTY TRICKS IN IRAQ
In an effort to unseat the government of Haider al-Abadi, the Iranian regime with the help of Shi’ite militia groups and former PM Nouri al-Maliki, is preventing the resolution of the crisis in Iraq.
After nearly a year of initial hopes to resolve the crisis in Iraq through genuine national reconciliation and the establishment of an inclusive government that can overcome the internal crisis, not only has no action been taken to reverse this trend, in fact the situation in Iraq has deteriorated. Iraqi citizens, who have suffered from decades of violence and oppression, are now witnessing the destruction of their country.
According to officials, none of the political agreements on which the Abadi government was formed have been realised, including the amnesty law that was supposed to cover people who were falsely arrested by Maliki and forced, under torture, to confess to acts of terror. In the draft of a new law, all the people who were supposed to be covered under this amnesty have now been excluded. Indeed the new “Audit & Justice” law takes no steps towards national reconciliation and in the new “National Guard” law, the demands of the Sunni provinces that were suppressed under Maliki have not been addressed.
All the evidence, including opposition political fractions and numerous press articles indicate that Iran through its protégé al-Maliki and his affiliated militias are trying to unseat the al-Abadi government by undermining his efforts towards national reconciliation and unity.
By blocking every effort of the Abadi government, they have actually contributed to the growth and expansion of ISIS and have increased the divisions between Iraqis. This Iranian-led Shi’ite faction has prevented the arming and training of the Sunni residents in the predominantly Sunni areas around Baghdad and other Sunni provinces, effectively preventing them from protecting themselves against ISIS. Indeed daily atrocities by the Shi’ite militias in the Sunni regions include beheadings, burning people alive and firing rockets blindly into residential areas. Such atrocities are simply driving the Iraqi Sunnis to support ISIS in preference to the brutal Shi’ite militias.
In addition, some essential government bodies, including the propaganda department, the central bank and many other important institutions, are under the direct control of Maliki and the Popular Mobilisation militias commanded by Hadi Amery, Jamal Mohammad Jafar (Abu Mehdi Mohandes), and Falleh Fayaz - all them whom are known operatives of the Iranian regime.
Press reports indicate that the fall of Ramadi was due to complicity between military commanders close to Maliki who were seeking to undermine al-Abadi.
Currently, millions of Iraqis have been displaced and are facing hunger and danger on a daily basis. In addition, hundreds of Iraqis are killed and wounded daily due to assassinations and terrorist explosions, with no hope in sight for an end to the crisis.
Everyone knows that the solution for the future of Iraq has to be political. Without preventing the Iranian regime’s interference in Iraq nothing will be solved. Unfortunately, due to a lack of decisiveness and the on-going appeasement policy of the United States towards Iran, the mullahs in Tehran have been given a free hand in Iraq. The result of this policy has been the intensification of insecurity and destruction and an inability to fight ISIS effectively.
We believe that Western governments, especially the United States, must oppose the efforts of the Iranian regime together with Maliki’s gangs and militia groups against the government of Haider al-Abadi. It is clear that to solve the Iraqi crisis we must evict the Iranian regime and its marionette Maliki and the Shi’ite militias from Iraq.
Any cooperation with the Iranian regime by the United States and the West in Iraq under the guise of fighting ISIS or under the guise of resolving the nuclear talks, will only lead to a deepening of the crisis and will spread the sectarian war and terrorism. It will help to increase the influence of Iran’s militias in Iraq who have proven now to be worse than ISIS.
Struan Stevenson was a Conservative MEP representing Scotland in the European Parliament from 1999 until his retirement in 2014. He was President of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009 to 2014. He is now President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).