Iran has the same goal as Islamic State in using violence to create a worldwide caliphate and ‘enslave the world in a medieval corruption of the Muslim faith’, Struan Stevenson, the President of Europe Iraq Freedom Association has warned.
And any cooperation between the West and Iran in the war on ISIS will be ‘extremely dangerous’ and could trigger a sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis that could plague the region for decades, he said.
He told a conference in the Latvian capital Riga, entitled Going For Peace and Reconciliation in Iraq: “It was naive of the West to think that we could simply sweep away dictators and despots like Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad and somehow replace them with functioning Western democracies, without giving due cognizance to the ancient hatreds and festering tensions – religious, social and tribal – that bedevil the Middle East.
“Islamic State came into being only because Saddam was toppled and Assad was effectively crippled in Syria by the Western-backed revolution. ISIS now roams over huge parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya, looking hungrily at neighbouring countries like Jordan, which they regard as ripe for plucking.”
He warned: “Iran is now well on the way to extending its hegemony across the entire region and it is worth remembering that ISIS is not the only organisation intent on using violence and bloodshed to create a worldwide Islamic caliphate; it is a core principle of the Iranian Constitution, drawn up by Ayatollah Khomenei, that they will export the Islamic revolution with the clear intention of creating an Islamic caliphate.
“Indeed, Tehran regards ISIS as direct Sunni competitors in this struggle to enslave the world in a medieval corruption of the Muslim faith.”
The former Chairman of Delegation for Relations with Iraq at European Parliament described ousted Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki as ‘a puppet of the Iranian mullahs’, adding: “The number of executions in Iraq rose to record heights and an increasing number of political opponents found themselves faced with trumped-up charges of terrorism.
“These issues, along with the already devastated state of Iraq, added greatly to the staggering casualties and destruction following the illegal invasion and occupation in 2003. But we in the West stood aside and allowed Maliki, as a puppet of Tehran, to remain in office and now we are witnessing the results of this catastrophic policy.
“I warned again and again that Maliki’s reign would lead to civil war. But mine was almost a lone voice. Maliki even called a press conference in Baghdad to denounce me as a liar and an enemy of Iraq.
“He sent an envoy to Brussels to ask me what it would take to get me to shut up. I told him that the only thing that would make me shut up would be his resignation and indictment for crimes against humanity.”
He told the conference: “As the US withdrew from Iraq, it handed over the protection of Ashraf to Maliki’s government, having first signed an agreement with each and every individual resident of Ashraf, guaranteeing their safety and security in return for the surrender of their weapons.
“This amounted to signing the death warrant for these defenceless residents. The predictable outcome materialised in the form of six brutal massacres during the years 2009 to 2013.
“We warned the US, UN and EU again and again that these massacres would take place. But our cries fell on deaf ears. We were told not to rock the boat and not to do anything that might upset the delicate nuclear talks in Tehran. What an utter joke. It was the PMOI who first revealed the fact that the mullahs were enriching uranium and building a nuclear weapon and 12 years later we are still talking, extending deadline after deadline so that the mullahs can buy time and achieve their final goal of domination of the Middle East.”
“The West must wake up to the fact that any cooperation and alliance with Iran to fight ISIS is extremely dangerous and will turn this war into a sectarian war between the Shiites and Sunnis, and even if it is temporarily suppressed, it will again surge and will encase the region for decades.
“To overcome the Islamic state, it needs a cultural and religious alternative that can defy the violent, fanatic and extremist view of Islam, be it of the Sunni type like ISIS or the of the Shiite type like the Iranian regime and its affiliated groups. The PMOI and Maryam Rajavi’s democratic and tolerant version of Islam can play a vital role in isolating the Iranian regime and its twisted Islamic Ideology inside Iran.”
The world was now looking to Haider al-Abadi to take control and restore order inside Iraq, Mr Stevenson said.
He continued: “He must begin by rounding up the savage militias associated with the Iranian regime such as the Badr, Asaib and Kataib terrorists, as well as other criminal gangs that have played a significant role in Maliki’s rule and instigated the sectarian war in Iraq.
“He must purge the army of Iranian mercenaries and all those that Maliki recruited under his sectarian policy, restoring patriotic officers and turning it into a professional and national army. Only such an army, supported by the tribes and the people will be able to confront extremist and terrorist groups like the Islamic State.
“The new Prime Minister should also disclose to the Iraqi people the names of those who carried out the executions, massacres, bombardment and rocket attacks against innocent people and those responsible for poverty and state corruption; all should be held accountable in the courts. He must re-establish the independence of the Judiciary, dismissing those who have turned Iraq’s justice system into a political tool wielded by Maliki.
“He must also arrest and hold to account the perpetrators of the six massacres at Camps Ashraf and Liberty that led to the violent death of 116 people and the wounding and maiming of hundreds more.
“He must order the lifting of the inhuman siege, especially the medical siege, against Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty and guarantee their rights and security and their right to ownership of their property at Liberty and Ashraf.
“I have to say that so far, we have seen little to encourage us that Dr al-Abadi will take the rapid steps necessary towards implementing these measures. He’s been in office for 6 months, but still the Sunnis are not really sharing power in any meaningful way. Sure there are Sunni politicians in his cabinet, but they are largely the same ones who served under Maliki and they are still in the same, powerless positions.
“He must re-integrate those prominent Sunnis who fought against Maliki, like the former Vice President Dr Tariq al-Hashemi. He must release the thousands of Sunni political prisoners. He must openly condemn the excesses of the Shiite militias and evict them from Iraq. He now has in his hands the historic role of saving Iraq or presiding over its total disintegration.
“It is also imperative for Obama to change his policy in Iraq. As tens of thousands of Shiia militia fighters under the command of the Iranian terrorist Quds Force General Qassem Suleimani, prepare to recapture the city of Tikrit from ISIS, the Americans are set to launch airstrikes against key ISIS command centres. They have effectively become Iran’s allies in the war against the Islamic State. This is a very dangerous and misguided strategy, which even if successful, will simply enable the Iranian regime and its brutal militias to replace ISIS, effectively taking over Iraq in the process.”