Recently, the Iranian regime working through its subordinates led by former prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki in Iraq, has taken new measures to strengthen ISIS and contribute to the mayhem in Iraq. In a surprising move, Hadi al-Amery the head of the terrorist Badr organization, replaced the Sunni governor of the Diyala province with one of the Badr organization officers named Mothanna al-Tammimi, known as an accomplice in the massacre of the Sunnis by the Shiia militias.
This illegal act prompted a wave of protests and anger from the Iraqi national forces. However, it was followed by a pre-planned plot that led to the removal of Asyl al-Nujaifi, the governor of the Nainawa Sunni province, by members of parliament linked to al-Maliki’s faction. Observers believe that the reason for Asyl al-Nujaifi’s dismissal was his firm opposition to the arrival of Shiia militias in Nainawa province and his trip to the United States to lobby for arming Sunni forces to assist in the liberation of Mosul.
Meanwhile the unbridled wave of terror unleashed by militias linked to Iran and Maliki reached new heights through the assassination of Mr. Abdullah Khalaf al-Jabouri, deputy director of the Engineer’s Association, who was the Sunni candidate for the Ministry of Petroleum.
It is clear that the Iranian regime, through Maliki and Hadi al-Amery, is conducting a campaign of terror and assassinations against individuals and national forces opposed to their policies, parallel to their military intervention in Iraq. Undoubtedly, these actions will strengthen ISIS and lead to a weakening of the elected Iraqi government. Haider al-Abadi must not yield to the pressure and the schemes of Maliki and the paramilitary groups. Doing so will only embolden them and lead to the strengthening of ISIS, making Abadi their next target.
If the United States is truly concerned about eradicating ISIS they must listen to the Sunni leaders and US military officials, take responsibility and stop acting as the air force for the Shiia militias linked to Iran, who are known and hated for their criminal behavior. They must arm the Sunnis and stop the advance of Maliki and the Iranian regime’s armed militias towards the Sunni provinces. Any delay will only contribute to the disastrous situation we are witnessing.
Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). He was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009-2014.