NEW POLICIES FOR IRAQ

Press release

21 August 2014

 

The only way to rescue Iraq is to distance it from the Iranian regime and end Maliki’s era of killing and terror

Ten days after the dismissal of Nouri al-Maliki and while the war and insecurity in Iraq rages on, the world and the people of Iraq wait impatiently for a sign that the era of executions, torture, purges and terror that characterised Maliki’s years in power will come to an end.

Terrorist groups associated with Iran, such as Badr, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kata’ib Hezbollah, were responsible for the massacre of many innocent Iraqis, particularly Sunnis; their presence in Iraq and Syria paved the way for the rapid expansion of the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organisation. These are the same groups that Khamenei, Maliki and Assad have been using directly or indirectly in a bid to destroy popular revolution in Iraq and Syria.

The gruesome decapitation of the American journalist James Foley by IS in Syria has caused an international outcry and doubled the need to overcome terrorism, by swiftly decoupling the Iranian regime’s malevolent involvement in Iraq and Syria.

The recent call to the international community by Mr Hadi Al-Bahra, President of the Syrian National Coalition, for military action against IS and Assad, should be taken seriously as he rightly warned that in the absence of such a policy, extremism and terrorism would increase in the region; an ominous phenomenon that has its epicentre in Tehran under the rule of the mullahs.

The past ten days have proven well the fact that Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate Haidar al-Abadi must ignore the demands of the Iranian and embark on fundamental changes; if he does so he will attract international and regional support and he will be able to forge a new unity and solidarity inside Iraq that will revive Iraq’s ability to confront and neutralise the Islamic State (ISIS).

Former Prime Minister Dr. Ayad Allawi said in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat on August 18 that the issue of Iraq is unfortunately “determined in other capitals…. I mean Iran…..we wish our brother al-Abadi to take advantage of this historic opportunity and also the international support for Iraq and to try to guarantee Iraq’s unity and to rescue it from the crises. We wish he would abandon his posts at Da'awa Party and be the head of Iraq’s government….if he guarantees Iraq’s unity and ridding it from its crises and rules the country as the head of Iraq’s government and all Iraqis, and not as an official of the Da'awa Party, and if he presents a program that would guarantee the country’s integrity, we shall be with him. However, if it goes otherwise, we will oppose his orientation.”

He told al-Arabiya TV on August 15: “All Iraqi forces without any exception should take part in the political process, and only the terrorists and the thieves of public property should be excluded… should there not be a genuine partnership, there will be a monopoly in power, and this is something that would drag Iraq into a bigger catastrophe than the current one..” (al-Arabiya, August 15)

The Association of Muslim Scholars of Iraq in an open letter dated August 17 announced that if the new Prime Minister wants to make a change, he should stop bombarding and shelling civilians, he should release hundreds of thousands of prisoners, he should prevent the militias’ activities, he should end the policy of purging and marginalizing the people of Iraq, he should try criminals and should bring back the displaced to their homes.

On 15 August, Sheikh Ali Hatam Suleiman one of the most prominent leaders of Iraqi tribes said: “we stand ready to cooperate with this government if the rights of Sunnis are guaranteed… our top priorities are: immediate cessation of shelling, withdrawal of militias and so called security forces and also return of the displaced.” He added, “If you restore our rights and there is a real guarantee for that, then just leave IS to us Sunnis…it’s because of Maliki’s cruelty and tyranny that some people are getting close to IS… if the new Prime Minister decides to resolve the issue of IS, in the first place he must abandon more than thirty Shiite militia groups who have penetrated into the defence, interior, national security and intelligence ministries… more dangerous than IS are those who wear military uniforms, possess military IDs and kill and abduct everyone they wish… we are committed to our people to fight terrorism, IS or else; in 2005 and 2006 the US could not fight terrorism as the tribes did. However, the tribes do not want to be the fuel for a war that usurps Sunnis’ rights as Maliki did when he received the Awakening Council from the US. “(15 August, Al-Arabiya) 

Dr. Taha Hamdoun, official spokesman for the Popular Movement in Iraq said: “our demands consist of two parts: the urgent ones like ceasing arbitrary shelling, dropping explosive barrels and stopping sectarian cleansing missions by the armed forces in Diyala, Samarra, Anbar and Baghdad;  and to bring about the 14 conditions that demonstrators from the outset came out onto the streets to demand…”, “but if the scenario is the same and this partnership is just superficial, then nobody would accept that… any way without granting the rights of Arab Sunnis no peace and stability is possible.” (15 August, Al- Jazeera)

The European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) once again warns that without genuine changes in polices and without removing all remnants of Maliki and evicting the Iranian regime from Iraq, Iraq will not achieve tranquillity and security and bigger crises will threaten the region and the globe.     

 

Struan Stevenson

President, European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIF)