Iraq’s fast track descent into becoming a puppet province of its big neighbor Iran continues apace. Last week, the Iranian regime’s state-run news agency IRNA, reported that Dr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Iraq’s prime minister, had said: “It is not only some states, but many enemies like the PMOI (MEK) which have an interest in attacking Hashd-al-Shaabi”. The PMOI/MEK (Mojahedin e-Khalq/People’s Mojahedin of Iran) is the main democratic opposition to the mullahs’ fascist fundamentalist regime in Iran. They and their charismatic leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is feared and detested by the medieval mullahs, who see them as a direct threat to their wavering and oppressive grip on power.
Hashd-al-Shaabi is financed and run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the Iranian mullahs’ Gestapo. It forms a key part of the ‘so-called’ popular mobilization units inside Iraq. They were created from a variety of ruthless Shi’ia militias by the terrorist IRGC and its despotic leader General Qasem Soleimani in the wake of the ISIS invasion of Iraq. Under the guise of helping the Americans and British in their fight to oust ISIS from Iraq, the Iranian regime conducted a merciless policy of genocide against Iraq’s Sunni population, overseeing the almost complete destruction of the ancient cities of Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul in the process and killing tens of thousands of innocent Sunni Iraqis.
Following a recent drone attack on a Hashd-al-Shaabi base near the town of Amerli in the Salahaddin Governorate of central Iraq, which resulted in one death and 4 serious injuries, the mullahs in Tehran were quick to encourage their Iraqi neighbors to point the finger of blame at the PMOI (MEK). This was why the Iraqi prime minister made the accusation against the Iranian opposition, reading from a script almost certainly prepared for him by the mullahs. His claim of PMOI (MEK) involvement in attacks inside Iraq is completely without foundation.
The Iraqi prime minister knows that all PMOI (MEK) members left Iraq more than three years ago, on September 2016. Even before their departure, the PMOI (MEK)’s relationship with the Iraqi people was excellent. Indeed, 5.2 million Iraqi citizens signed a statement in 2006 and a further 3 million Iraqi Shi’ites in the south signed another statement in 2008, supporting the PMOI (MEK) as friends of the Iraqi people and a key driving force against fundamentalism in Iraq. Claims that they have suddenly morphed into a terrorist organization are ludicrous. The leaders of Hashd-al-Shaabi like Hassan Ameri and Abo Mehdi Mohanddes are members of IRGC and under the payroll of the Iranian regime. Dr. Adel Abdul-Mahdi said that an exhaustive inquiry had found no “concrete evidence” of Israel’s involvement in the recent airstrikes on the Shiite militia bases in his country and pointed the finger of blame at the PMOI (MEK), proving without question that he and his government are under the thumb of the Iranian regime.
Two thousand five hundred years ago, Lao Tzu, the legendary Chinese philosopher, said: “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” His words may accurately describe the spiraling decline of Iraq. After more than a decade of venal corruption and misrule by Nouri al-Maliki and then Haider al-Abadi, the Iranian mullahs have staked their claim on Iraq and found another willing lackey in Abdul-Mahdi. Prior to his election as prime minister in October 2018 Mahdi was relatively unknown, even inside Iraq. He served as an uninspiring oil minister from 2014-2016, allowing his ministry to become the private fiefdom of his own political party cronies from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. He is pro-Iranian and equivocal about supporting America. He pledged to introduce a cabinet of technocrats but quickly gave way to Iranian pressure, forming a government almost entirely composed of pro-Iranian minions. Iraq is now destined to become, like Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon yet another notch on the fascist mullahs’ gun.
Struan Stevenson is President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). Coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC). He was a member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14). He is an international lecturer on the Middle East and an award-winning author.