November 22, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5534

Iraqi Shi'ite Militia Leader Watheq Al-Battat: I Would Support Iran In A War Against Iraq; Iran Is A Superpower That Can Overcome 15 Superpowers, With Cells Throughout The Region, And Influence From China To The U.S.; We Command 23,000 Martyrdom Seekers

November 22, 2013
Iraq, Iran | Special Dispatch No. 5534

Following are excerpts from an interview with Watheq Al-Battat, founder of the Al-Mukhtar Army in Iraq, which aired on Sumaria TV, and was posted on the Internet, on October 23, 2013:

Click here to view this clip on MEMRI TV

Watheq Al-Battat: "The Islamic Republic of Iran is an unrecognized superpower. It has the ability to confront 15 superpowers and overcome them. It has cells throughout the region. Its influence extends as far as China and the U.S., so it's only natural that it has great clout in Iraq, especially given the ideological ties of 73% of the Iraqis to Iran.

"The Islamic Republic... "

Interviewer: "Is it behind you? Does Iran pull the strings of the [Shi'ite] resistance in Iraq? Your rivals say that there are Shi'ite militias that answer to Iran."

Watheq Al-Battat: "Ideologically speaking, the Shia knows no borders. All horizons are open to it. A Shi'ite authority, whether in India, Iraq, or anywhere else, has influence upon all the Shi'ites.

"All the more so for the resistance, which has ideological ties..."

Interviewer: "What about Sayyed Al-Sistani?

Watheq Al-Battat: "He is our authority on matters of jurisprudence, but when it comes to politics, our authority is the leader, Ali Khamenei. [...]

"I was a mujahid in Iraq until 1993. After that, I moved to Iran, where I stayed for five years, and upon my return, they arrested me, and I was imprisoned for..."

Interviewer: "Who arrested you? The Americans?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "No, it was in the days of Saddam. [...]

"We did not believe that the political process would lead to any result, as it later turned out."

Interviewer: "What did you believe?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "That fighting and bloodshed were the only way to drive the Americans out of Iraq. [...]

"At first, I was a field commander, and I would carry out operations myself. Allah be praised, the goal of driving the occupiers out was accomplished. From that moment, a new phase, of fighting [Sunni] terrorism and takfir, began."

Interviewer: "But there was terrorism in the days of the occupation."

Watheq Al-Battat: "We were not remiss in fighting the takfiri terrorists. They are afraid of us, Allah be praised." [...]

Interviewer: "How many martyrdom-seekers do you say you have under your command?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "23,600."

Interviewer: "If Baghdad is attacked, what would be the role of this Al-Mukhtar Army?" [...]

Watheq Al-Battat: "The plan I propose is as follows: I can put an end to the car bombs within four months. Even if the whole world tries to plant car bombs after that, it will fail."

Interviewer: "Why four months?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Due to political, strategic, and military considerations. I need four months to get things in order."

Interviewer: "Will you train the security forces, or bring your own men?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "No, I will bring my own men."

Interviewer: "Why not train the security forces?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "No, the people I'm talking about are ideologically connected to me." [...]

Interviewer: "What do you think the world will think about the Iraqi government if it approves such a thing?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "There is nothing unusual about it. We are not at odds with the Iraqi government."

Interviewer: "The world calls you 'militias.'"

Watheq Al-Battat: "So what? Every country in the world has militias. Saddam Hussein had militias, which were called the Al-Quds Army."

Interviewer: "And the people were pleased about Saddam's militias? What did they think of the Al-Quds Army?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "It's not a question of whether it pleases people. The question is whether these militias are legal or not. Any country whose home front is under attack is in need of a popular army, a regional army. These are legal militias, connected to the state. One could call them 'positive militias'." [...]

Interviewer: "Do you fight only in Iraq?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "No."

Interviewer: "Do you send fighters to Syria?

Watheq Al-Battat: "It depends on religious needs. We go to wherever our holy places are attacked."

Interviewer: "Do you have fighters in Syria right now?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "There are Syrians who are connected to Al-Mukhtar Army, there are Egyptians who are connected to it, and even Iranians. Al-Mukhtar Army has become an international organization, which has spread everywhere. Anyone who believes in it can join. We even have people in Sweden."

Interviewer: "You're an international organization, yet the West and the U.S. aren't monitoring you?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "What is America? It's a paper tiger. The U.S. is insignificant. We blew it out of proportion. [...]

"I represent the Shi'ite enterprise, and the Iranians are part of the Shia. I am proud to be a foot soldier in the army of the leader, Sayyed Khamenei."

Interviewer: "What is your view today regarding Bashar Al-Assad?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "I give Bashar Al-Assad credit for standing honorably alongside the resistance." [...]

"Hitler Was An Oppressive Dictator, Not A Just One"

Interviewer: "You believe in Bashar Al-Assad because he supported the resistance..."

Watheq Al-Battat: "Incidentally, I believe in just dictatorships."

Interviewer: "Like Hitler, for example?

Watheq Al-Battat: "No, Hitler was an oppressive dictator, not a just one."

Interviewer: "Who is a just dictator?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Sayyed Khamenei."

Interviewer: "Khamenei is not a dictator. Iran holds elections every four years."

Watheq Al-Battat: "What does a dictatorship mean?"

Interviewer: "Khamenei is a religious ruler. You describe him as a dictator?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "He is a just dictator. Allah is a just dictator." [...]

Interviewer: "We were at war with Iran for eight years, ye some call those killed in that war 'casualties.' How would you call those who were killed or martyred in that war?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Look, in the Battle of the Camel [656 CE], Imam Ali killed a great number of people."

Interviewer: "How can you describe Imam Ali as a killer? You're describing it as if he grabbed his sword and started slaughtering people."

Watheq Al-Battat: "I'm surprised at you. There were 83 raids in Islam, and they all involved killing and murder."

Interviewer: "These were conquests."

Watheq Al-Battat: "150,000 of the Prophet's companions participated in the wars of Islam. Of course they were killers. They killed infidels." [...]

"What Is Important Is The Common Enemies – The Americans And The Israelis. We Must Confront Them With All Our Force. After We Annihilate The Jews, We Can Deal With Domestic Matters"

Interviewer: "In the Iran-Iraq war, there were casualties on both sides..."

Watheq Al-Battat: "The Iranian casualties are martyrs."

Interviewer: "And what about ours?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Ours are not martyrs."

Interviewer: "Why not?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Because Saddam Hussein was an oppressive, tyrannical ruler." [...]

"[Bashar Al-Assad] realized that the terrorist groups are groups of Freemasons, Jews, and Zionists, and are connected to the U.S. When they entered Iraq, they wanted to drive a wedge between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites, not to fight the occupier. Eventually, he realized this."

"We should not take him to task for his earlier support of the car bombs. What is important is the common enemies – the Americans and the Israelis. We must confront them with all our force. After we annihilate the Jews, we can deal with domestic matters. [...]

"Imam Khomeini fought Saddam because the latter was an infidel.

Interviewer: "What about the Iraqis who were killed in the war? What about the orphans and widows? Who will assume responsibility for them?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Why should anybody take responsibility? It was war. If I kill a Wahhabi man, am I supposed to take responsibility for his orphans?" [...]

Interviewer: "Is it fair to say that children whose fathers were killed in that war have no rights?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "They have no rights. They deserve nothing." [...]

Interviewer: "If a war breaks out between Iraq and Iran – and I hope it doesn't – who will you support?"

Watheq Al-Battat: "Iran." [...]

"All I know is that the Islamic Republic of Iran is ruled by a just Imam, who is connected to the Infallible Imam. Let me finish, please.

Interviewer: "Go ahead."

Watheq Al-Battat: "Iraq, on the other hand, is ruled by a democratic government of technocrats, which is not connected to the Rule of the Jurisprudent or to any authority. If our government decides to fight... I'm giving you a frank answer... If it decides to fight the Infallible Imam, I will stand alongside the Infallible Imam against Iraq. If the Infallible Imam is in India and decides to fight Iraq, I will stand alongside India. If the Infallible Imam is in the U.S. and decides to fight Iraq, I will stand alongside the U.S. If the Infallible Imam is in Israel... My rule is to stand alongside the Infallible Imam, because I know that justice is with him." [...]

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