EIFA calls on the Security Council to take immediate steps to expel the Iranian regime from Iraq and arm Sunni tribes to confront ISIS

The European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) calls on the United Nations Security Council session on May 14 about the situation in Iraq, to take immediate action to expel the Iranian regime from Iraq, to promote real participation of the Sunnis in the Iraqi government and to arm the Sunni tribes, as three necessary steps to establish peace and stability. These three steps are interdependent, without which ISIS will not be eliminated. As was stated in a EIFA report of February 20, 2015: "The greatest blunder committed by the U.S. in Iraq was to relinquish the country's nascent post-war order to Iran's malice and mercenaries. Tehran used this unprecedented opening to expand its influence both in Iraq and in the region. This facilitated the unbridled furtherance of its three-decade-old policy of aggression and exporting of the "Islamic revolution." It enabled Tehran to solidify control at home and expand the range of its threats to western interests. The Iranian regime and its primary proxy, Nouri al-Maliki, provoked widespread anger among the Sunni community through violent suppression, exclusion from the body politic, physical annihilation, and forcing Sunni leaders into exile."

Nine months after the formation of an international coalition against ISIS, despite heavy bombing in Iraq, the situation in Iraq has not improved and murder, massacre and ethnic religious cleansing in the country continue.

Widespread meddling of the Iranian regime, the Quds force and affiliated Shi’ite militias in Iraq and ethnic religious cleansing by Tehran's agents, feeds ISIS from a social perspective at its best, and places the Sunni community in the invidious position of having to choose whether to be under the rule of the Iranian regime or under the rule of ISIS.  The attack on the Khalis prison by Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, a branch of the Quds force, and the killing of scores of Sunni prisoners, is one of the dozens of similar tragedies that have occurred during Haider Al-Abadi's 9-month rule and the Iraqi government has done nothing to counter these atrocities. 

Separating the al-Nakhib area of ​​al-Anbar province and connecting it to the command of the Euphrates (in Karbala) and dispatching Shi’ite militias to this area deepens a religious war in the region and strengthens ISIS. Al-Nakhib has a 400 km border with Saudi Arabia, and the Iranian regime wants to keep the path of interfering in this country open by this route.

Nine months after al-Abadi came to power, a large proportion of the Sunnis are still excluded from the government and even those who were arrested or banished by Maliki at the behest of the Iranian regime, such as Dr. Tariq al-Hashemi, Ahmad al-Alwani, and Rafe al-Issawi, have not been returned to the political process. Equally the tribes who stood against al-Maliki and were strongly opposed to ISIS, have been practically removed from the scene.

Meanwhile, residents of Camp Liberty, Iranian refugees and members of the PMOI, are still suffering from a prolonger siege and suppression and their situation has not improved. This approach by the al-Abadi’s government sends a message of weakness to the Iranian regime.  

These policies led to the weakening of al-Abadi himself in the Iraqi political scene and have placed him under pressure from bands affiliated to the Iranian regime. This has led to increasing demands for his resignation in recent days. 

Based on the above points and based on its research and assessment, EIFA calls on the UN Security Council to adopt binding measures to implement the following points:

1. The expulsion of all Iranian Qods Force and Iranian Revolutionary Guards from Iraq.

2. The complete cleansing of the Iraqi government, the military and security agencies, from the agents of the Iranian regime and Shi’ite militants.

3. Real and profound Sunni participation in the political process and in the first step, the restoration to the government of people like Dr. Tariq al-Hashemi, Vice-President and Rafe al-Issawi, former Finance Minister and Ahmad al-Alwani, former head of the Iraqi parliament's economic commission.

4. Arming the predominantly Sunni tribes with heavy and semi-heavy weapons, under the monitoring of the coalition forces.

5. Ending the siege of Camp Liberty, guaranteeing the protection of the resident refugees and its recognition as a refugee camp under the control of UNHCR, giving its dossier to those in the Iraqi government who are not under the influence of the Iranian regime. 

Note: Struan Stevenson was a Conservative Euro MP representing Scotland in the European Parliament from 1999 until 2014. He was President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq from 2009-2014. He is currently President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA).