Iran Regime’s Influence in Iraq Elections
By Staff Writer
Struan Stevenson, the President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) and a member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2014, released a statement about Iranian regime’s meddling in the Iraqi elections.
He noted that there will be 87 political parties contesting the elections in Iraq this weekend. Iraq has been struggling to bring democracy to its people and the upcoming elections will decide the members of the Council of Representatives, of which there will be 329 in total. These representatives will then elect the country’s president and prime minister.
Stevenson explained that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is ahead in the polls, but many say that he will not be able to form a coalition. He previously attempted to create an alliance with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) – something which did not go down well because of the militias that are sectarian and backed by Iranian regime.
Abadi is also on bad terms with former Shi’ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki who is heavily influenced by Iranian regime. Stevenson said: “The venally corrupt Maliki spent his two terms in office robbing the Iraqi people and faithfully carrying out instructions from Tehran to wage war on his own Sunni citizens. He now uses his plundered fortune to finance paramilitary intimidation of his political enemies.”
The Sunnis are divided as are the Kurds who failed in their bid for independence last year.
To prevent sectarian infighting, American administrator Paul Bremer, after the 2003 Iraq invasion, installed a system ensuring that the country will have a Kurdish president, the Prime Minister will be Shi’ia and the Speaker in parliament will be Sunni. Stevenson said that instead of preventing infighting, it has provoked it and “played into the hands of the Iranian mullahs who have exploited the on-going political turmoil to levy a stranglehold on Iraq”.
The economic situation is serious, corruption is rife and the country’s infrastructure is a mess. The Iraqi people no longer know freedom and peace seems like a faraway concept. Iranian regime has interfered in the internal affairs of the country since 2003 and has managed to gain significant control and influence. It is spending large sums of money in the Iraqi elections to back candidates such as Hadi Al-Ameri – the Badr Organization’s leader. This group is part of the Fatah Coalition that is in alliance with Nouri al-Maliki and the Iran-backed Shi’ite militias Hashd.
Stevenson explains that Iranian regime’s interference in Iraq is one part of its plot to destabilise the Middle East. He said: “Iranian regime’s ability to sway the outcome of the Iraqi elections as part of its wider strategy of destabilising the Middle East should be of deep concern to the West. Iranian hegemony in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq is a threat not only to peace in the Middle East, but also to world peace. Iranian meddling, particularly by the terrorist Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), in virtually every aspect of Iraq’s political, economic and security structures, aided and abetted by years of wrong-headed American policies, will make it almost impossible to hold a free and fair election.”
Stevenson said that the only way to ensure that the elections in Iraq are democratic is to get rid of Iran from the country and to put an end to its “deadly stranglehold”.