Akram Al-Kaabi, Secretary-General of the Iraqi Al-Nujaba Movement, said in a November 28, 2022 interview on Russia Today TV that the "military option" is the only viable solution to the American "occupation" of Iraq, since the political option has always been "useless." He said that the Al-Nujaba Movement has been active "on the ground" against the American presence, and he explained that only military pressure can force the Americans to leave Iraq or to negotiate with the Iraqi government about their withdrawal.
When asked whether the withdrawal of U.S. forces may lead to the Iraqi "resistance" no longer having a legitimate reason to have weapons, he answered that the "legal owner" of the resistance's weapons is the Twelfth Imam, the Shi'ite messianic figure, and that the resistance is not obligated to hand over its weapons to anybody other than him. In addition, he said that the Israeli "presence" in Iraq is no less dangerous than the American presence, that the resistance factions will not allow it, and that those who aim to normalize relations with Israel are legitimate targets just like "the Zionists in Iraq." Moreover, he said that if the Iraqi government has the will to do so, it can reassert its sovereignty in Erbil with the help of the PMU and other forces. Al-Ka
'abi gave the interview during his recent visit to Moscow, during which he also met with Russia's deputy foreign minister. For more information about Akram Al-Kaabi, see MEMRITV clips Nos. 5276, 5745, 6961, 7217, 7808, 9234, 9296, and 9517.
Akram Al-Kaabi: "As the Iraqi resistance, we adhere to the military option. We believe that the military option is the only solution, and that the political option has always been, and will always be, useless."
Interviewer: "Is there actual military activity now on the ground against the U.S. forces?"
Al-Kaabi: "The resistance has been, and still is, active on the ground. The resistance continues to act against the U.S. occupation. Therefore, we are convinced that the military option, or the military solution, which caused the Americans to pull out of Iraq in the past, is the only way to force their withdrawal from Iraq. In the past, the President of the United States declared that they had not come to Iraq in order to withdraw, but they were forced to withdraw from Iraq, by the blows they were dealt by the resistance factions. The same is true now. The (military) option should be the basic – and only – option. This is even in the best interests of the Iraqi government, because if the Iraqi government wants to negotiate with the Americans, and reach understandings about their withdrawal, then in order for it to be in a strong position, there must be resistance on the ground that will deal painful blows to the American occupation, so that it will be forced to seek (negotiations) with the Iraqi government and sign an agreement about the withdrawal of (U.S.) forces, like in the past.
"With regard to the weapons of the resistance, it is our (Shi'ite) religious belief that these weapons belong to the Twelfth Imam. Thus, the weapons of the resistance will only be handed over to their rightful owner. Any talk about the weapons of the resistance is nothing but a futile media campaign. (Handing it over) will not happen."
Interviewer: "So considering this approach, the Iraqi government cannot ask you to... in your opinion, and according to your religious beliefs..."
Al-Kaabi: "We do not have anything to hand over. The weapons of the resistance are there as long as the danger is there.
"I believe that the Israeli presence is no less dangerous – even more dangerous – than the American presence. It should be fought. We, as the factions of the resistance, will not allow this. With regard to the normalization (of relations with Israel)... We say that not only the Israeli presence, but the parties involved in this normalization will also be targeted by the resistance. The rule regarding those who normalize is just like the rule for the Zionists in Iraq.
"I think that one of the basic matters that the Iraqi government should realize is enforcing the sovereignty of the federal government, specifically in Erbil. Today, Erbil is a separatist (rule). It is rebelling against the Iraqi government. It is selling oil without coordinating with the federal government. It is embracing those who are destroying Iraq without the consent of the federal government."
Interviewer: "But can the central government enforce its authority in Erbil and the Kurdistan region?"
Al-Kaabi: "Of course it can – if it has the will and decides to try to act like an independent, sovereign government."
Interviewer: "Does it have the capability to do so?"
Al-Kaabi: "With the will, and with the existence of real forces like the PMU, the Iraqi army, and the other security forces, the Iraqi government can do so. The issue requires courage and making the decision.