July 12, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9439

Iraqi Journalist: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi Is Subordinate To Iran And Should Be Ousted

July 12, 2021
Iran, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 9439

In a July 4, 2021 article in the London-based daily Al-Arab, Iraqi journalist Ibrahim Al-Zubaidi harshly attacks Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Iraq's prime minister since April 2020, and calls for his ouster. He writes that, despite enjoying the full backing of the security forces and unprecedented popular support, Al-Kadhimi has disappointed, like all his predecessors in the last decade: he has not accomplished any of the tasks he was appointed to carry out, and has subordinated himself to Iran. One piece of evidence for this, says Al-Zubaidi, is Al-Kadhimi's participation in a recent military parade of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a military organization operating in parallel to Iraq's army, which consists mainly of Iran-backed Shi'ite militias and is legally subordinate to Al-Kadhimi's office. [1] Al-Zubaidi slams the prime minister for congratulating the fighters and embracing the commander of the PMU militias, even though these militias have frequently insulted and threatened him.[2] He adds that, since coming into office, Al-Kadhimi has tried proving that he is not subordinate to Iran, but reality proves otherwise, for Iraq is now a country without proper borders, sovereignty or dignity. Moreover, the Iran-backed PMU militias are more powerful than the Iraqi armed forces, and Iran is the real decision-maker in the country. Al-Zubaidi expresses hope that Al-Kadhimi will soon be ousted.

Mustafa Al-Kadhimi at the PMU military parade (source:, June 26, 2021)

The following are excerpts from his article: [3]

"The politicians who control [Iraq] today blame the American invaders for the destruction of the homeland, [claiming] that they deliberately destroyed the state institutions and spread chaos after dismantling the army and the other security apparatuses. The Iraqi citizen also blames [the Americans], but [for something else:] for collecting [all] the greedy and power-hungry politicians from the cafes of London, Damascus, Amman and Riyadh and appointing them rulers of the [world's] richest and most beautiful country [Iraq], knowing that the country under their control will be exactly what it is today: a failed and bankrupt state, ruled by the law of the jungle.

"All this is no doubt true, but the American invaders left, or were ousted, from Iraq in 2011, and we are now in 2021. In other words, nine years have passed in this country, which is [still] unfree and unhappy – despite the heaps of money poured into its coffers – under the rule of the religious 'patriots' who fear Allah and love Muhammad and his descendants. Specifically, [we had] three years under [former prime minister] Nouri Al-Maliki in his second term in office after the withdrawal of the Americans in 2011; four years under Haider Al-'Abadi; one year under 'Adil 'Abdul-Mahdi, who was ousted on December 1, 2019 by the uprising that year, and one year under the current prime minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. His term in office will [probably] end in a few months when the Iraqis oust him just as they ousted his loathsome predecessors, who are wanted by the law. 

"In nine years, despite 1,500 billion dollars [granted to Iraq in aid], these consecutive religious governments never [managed to] take the oil revenues out of the hands of the militias that smuggle it or manipulate the oil-export figures. Nor did these governments oversee the border crossings, prevent gangs from taking over [the oil sector] and stealing its revenues, or direct even half the money that entered the state coffers towards construction, rehabilitation, education, healthcare, agriculture, industry or services. The other half they stole.

"It is said that the arrival of the ISIS gangs in [Iraq's] Sunni  areas, and the funds, efforts and time that the state had to invest in the battles to liberate these [areas], distracted the consecutive governments from the tasks of building [the country] and [providing] services. This may be true, but ISIS [only] captured  the cities that are now called liberated, and never came to the Shi'ite areas in the center and south [of Iraq]. So it did not preoccupy [Iraq's] national Shi'ite government or distract it from [the tasks of] providing the people of those regions… with drinkable water, electricity, medicines, hospitals, schools, and clean and paved roads. [ISIS did not prevent the government] from helping the farmers, so they could  provide the citizens with local produce, from strengthening industry, protecting the security and dignity of the citizens and stopping the murders and [unwarranted] arrests… or from preventing the theft of state funds…

"This is the condition of Iraq today: It is a homeland without [proper] borders, sovereignty or dignity. From June of last year [2020] until July 2021, prime minister Al-Kadhimi has not completed even one of the tasks for which he was appointed, first and foremost creating a proper environment for [fair] elections, providing security, preventing murders, identifying the murderers of protesters, dismissing embezzling officials, limiting the use of arms to the state alone, preventing the violations perpetrated by the militias, restoring the rule of law, freeing the border crossings from [the control of] gangs, preventing the smuggling of oil and the smuggling of funds out of the country, and drafting a proper election law… in order to prepare the ground for holding unrigged elections. [He did not accomplish any of this] even though he came [to power] with the full backing of the military and the armed forces, and will immense popular support… which none of his failing predecessors enjoyed.

"The latest bad news about him was that he attended a military parade of the Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], which proves to be an army more powerful than the government's army, judging by the weapons displayed [in the parade] and by the loud cries and slogans that were heard there, which showed that this army and its weapons are Iranian to the core. [Al-Kadhimi], the prime minister and commander-in-chief of [Iraq's] armed forces, who has always complained about violations [of the law] and about weapons that are not under the control of the state [i.e., the weapons of the PMU]… attended this disgraceful parade, congratulated the bearers of these arms, and then allowed the commander of these militias – that have defied him, humiliated him and threatened to cut off his ear[4]  –  to embrace him, as though saying [to the Iraqis]: your prime minister is not [really] a prime minister or anything else.    

"The strangest thing of all was that [Al-Kadhimi] addressed 'our sons in the PMU' and said: 'With your help we will restore Iraq's historical role in the region.' What historical role is the prime minister talking about, when Iran is the one making decisions, giving orders and being obeyed, and when [Iran] is the one who, throughout its long history, has brought [nothing but] poverty, hunger, superstition, bribery, drug trafficking and forgery to every place it has entered?...

"Although, ever since coming into office last year, Al-Kadhimi has been trying to refute the accusation that he is subordinate to Iran and to its militias, the real facts are evident on the ground, and they prove the veracity of this accusation each and every day of [Al-Kadhimi's] ineffective rule. Addressing the Permanent Representatives of NATO Countries in Brussels, Al-Kadhimi announced 'Iraq's absolute refusal to let its territory be used to attack its neighbors.' But he knows, we know and the whole world knows that these are empty words, [for] he is not the decision-maker and cannot do anything the Iranians do not want him to do. This game is considerably beyond his abilities, and it will not end well for him or for the Iraqi people. But it is continuing with no end in sight. The day of the prime minister's ouster will be a happy one. He should leave us alone and go take a rest."

Below are further photos of the PMU parade:[5]



[1] The PMU  is an umbrella organization of some 40 militias, most of them Shi'ite and pro-Iranian, which was originally established to fight ISIS. These militias, some of which are designated by various countries as terrorist organizations, helped Iran establish its control over Iraq and undermine its independence. In 2016 the PMU's status was regulated by designating it a national Iraqi force subordinate to the General Headquarters of the Armed Forces and to the Prime Minister's Office. Despite this, the majority of the militias remain loyal to the Iranian regime and some even take part in attacks on U.S. basis in Iraq.

The PMU parade, held on June 26, 2021 in the Diyala governorate, marked the 7th anniversary of the founding of this organization.  It was sponsored by Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi and was attended by him and by other senior officials, including PMU Chair Falih Al-Fayyadh, PMU Chief-of-Staff 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Muhammadawi (Abu Fadak), Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff Abdul Amir Yarallah, and National Security Advisor Qassem Al-A'raji. The weapons displayed included cannon, military vehicles, mortars and tanks of the Kataeb Hizbullah, Al-Nujaba, 'Asaeb Ahl Al-Haq and Sayyed Al-Shuhada militias. According to some reports, Iranian drones were also on display, but the PMU Authority has denied this., June 26, 2021; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 27, 2021. 

[3], July 4, 2021.

[4] In December 2020, following attempts by Al-Kadhimi to rein in the PMU, Qais Al-'Askari, spokesman for the Kataeb Hizbullah militia, said: "We call on Al Kadhimi, the traitor, not to test the resistance’s patience from now onwards; the time is appropriate to cut his ears as the ears of a goat are cut.” The National (UAE), December 27, 2020.

[5], June 26, 2021.

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