US plot to divide Iraq illusion: Iran MP
A senior Iranian lawmaker has described as an “illusion” a controversial US Congress bill that seeks to directly arm Iraqi Kurds and Sunnis in fighting ISIL Takfiris, saying the move aims to divide Iraq.
“The scheme by the US congress to divide Iraq and the its implementation are nothing more than an illusion and won’t be realized,” Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis) Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Sunday.
“Under this very illusion, the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, imposed crises on Syria and Yemen and has brought about unrest and wars in different parts of the world,” said the legislator
He said Washington seeks to secure its grip on energy resources and achieve its unholy objectives.
“By proposing such a plan, the Americans seek to expand their dominance over the region’s energy resources and achieve their hegemonic goals,” he added.
The Iranian parliamentarian also stressed that the policy of the Iraqi government, parliament and religious figures is to maintain Iraq’s integrity and unity, and to protect the country’s territorial sovereignty.
The draft of the US annual defense bill, which was released on April 27 by the House Armed Services Committee, urges the US government to recognize separate Kurdish and Sunni states and provide them with at least 25 percent of the USD-715-million aid money allegedly planned to be given to the Iraqi government to help it fight the ISIL terrorist group.
The draft bill also says the figure could even amount to 60 percent of the money, about USD 429 million.
The bill mandates that “the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Sunni tribal security forces with a national security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National Guard be deemed a country,” adding that doing so “would allow these security forces to directly receive assistance from the United States.”
Iraqi politicians and clerics are opposed to the idea, saying that only the Iraqi people can decide about the future of their country.
In a phone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi denounced the bill, saying he is opposed to such a plan which is aimed at weakening the unity of Iraq.
“This scenario is not new, it goes back to 2007 and 2008 when Joe Biden said that Iraq must be divided into three states; Kurdish, Shia and Sunni. Now other countries are trying to impose this project and control this situation in Iraq,” Najem Qassab, an Iraqi political analyst, told Press TV on Saturday.
Influential Iraqi Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, has warned against the bill , saying that if the bill is passed, Iraq will no longer be a safe place for the US, and its interests will become the target of attacks by the Iraqis who will never accept the “division of their country.”
“We are obliged to lift the freeze on our military wing … and begin hitting US interests in Iraq and outside it,” said Sadr, who once led the powerful Mahdi Army and still enjoys huge influence among the Shia population.