Iraqi MP Naeem Al-Aboudi of the Al-Sadiqoun Bloc (Asa'ib Ahl Al-Haq) said that military resistance is just as important as political resistance and that if the U.S. does not leave Iraq, then "all options are on the table," including military resistance. He quoted an unnamed Iraqi negotiator as saying that were it not for the rocket attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, the U.S. would not have withdrawn. He made these remarks on a show that aired on Al-Sharqiya TV (Iraq) May 2, 2021. Baligh Abu Gelal of the Al-Hikma National Movement said on the same show that it is up to the Iraqi government to decide whether to fight the Americans if they don't leave Iraq. He went on to say that he agrees with his colleague that the Americans should leave Iraq, but said that they must be made to leave through diplomatic means. Abu Gelal added that Iran and Turkey are also violating the sovereignty of Iraq.
Naeem Al-Aboudi: "Since the occupation forces appeared [in Iraq], we have believed in resistance against the Americans, knowing that political resistance is important as well. One of the negotiators from the Iraqi government said that if not for the rockets that hit the Americans, they would have never left Iraq. These were the words of the negotiator. I swear by Allah."
Panelist: "The Americans said lately that..."
Al-Aboudi: "Let me finish please. It's important. He said that the military resistance was a contributing factor to the political negotiations.
"All options are on the table as long as there is a clear violation [of our sovereignty]. It is a violation of the law. A decision was made... In addition, the Iraqi government has informed us and the Coordinating Authority that the American forces must leave. Everyone present agreed to it."
Host: "What if they do not leave?"
Al-Aboudi: "If they do not leave, then all the options are on the table. It is our legal right..."
Host: "Including the targeting of military bases?"
Al-Aboudi: "This option is on the table too, as the resistance said."
Baligh Abu Gelal: "Let's say the Americans refuse to leave. In my opinion, no one has the right to decide to fight them. We have a sovereign government. If it decides to fight, we'll go fight. If it decides to invest more political efforts, we will do that.
"It is not up to me to say whether it is [an American] occupation or not. There should be a U.N. decision, and it should be agreed upon by the international community. The Americans can only be defined as occupiers by the U.N. Security Council."
Host: "The resistance [factions] have different definitions that yours."
Abu Gelal: "Of course. But who bestows legitimacy on that resistance? Isn't there an Iraqi state? The concept of resistance is required when the state is absent, and if there is an American occupation.
"We agree that the American forces should leave Iraq, but disagree on the method. We support the diplomatic way, and we do not see the Americans as occupying forces, but rather as forces that arrived at the request of the Iraqi government, and which will leave at the request of the Iraqi government. We oppose any violation of our sovereignty. But there is a difference between that and occupation. These are two completely different concepts.
"Just as the Americans are violating Iraqi sovereignty, so are Turkey and Iran. Iran has been bombing our borders since 2004, claiming that there are members of the Iranian opposition inside Iraq. We hear this regularly. Turkey does that too. So why do we focus only on the Americans?"