Rafi’ Taha Al-Rifa’i, the Sunni Mufti of Iraq, said in an October 30, 2019 interview on Alghad TV (U.K.) that the Iraqi government is completely controlled by the Iranian government and its Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to such a degree that officials cannot rise to senior or sensitive positions without Khamenei’s approval. He said that the IRGC and the Basij have entered Iraq in order to support the Iraqi government against the rioting against it and that the Iraqi PMU are preventing people from rising up and joining the demonstrations in certain Iraqi provinces. Mufti Al-Rifa’i encouraged Iraqis to support the demonstrations and said that the Iraqis will not return to their homes until the Iraqi government is toppled and the “dark faces” of Iranian influence, which he said have destroyed Iraq, are driven out of the country.
Following are excerpts:
Mufti Rafi’ Taha Al-Rifa’i: Everything that is going on in this country is entirely controlled by the government of the Rule of the Jurisprudent in Iran. Most politicians cannot be appointed to senior and sensitive positions without the approval of the Jurisprudent Ruler. Because this government represents total subservience to foreigners – to Iran and its government – the IRGC, the Basij, and all their cronies hastened to save this government. The Iraqis do not kill one another. You will find that those black-clad [PMU militias]… For example, see what happened in Karbala… The army is asking who is shooting at the people. And what about those who are shooting tear gas canisters? These canisters are usually fired in the air, but these IRGC and Basij forces fired them directly at the demonstrators. The demonstrators found some IDs and they caught some of these people, as well as snipers… This has become obvious and well known among everyone in Iraq. This is not just an accusation – this is a proven crime.
May Allah bless the provinces in the south that are rising up, along with their tribes and everything that they do. The remaining five provinces – Al-Anbar, Saladin, Nineveh, Diyala, and Kirkuk – are held in a viselike grip by [the PMU] militias. If I told the [Sunnis] to hold similar demonstrations, they would become fair game for [the PMU militias], because there are automatic accusations ready for them. [The PMU] would say: “These are ISIS members who rose up against us.” Therefore, in order to protect their lives, I do not want them to go [and demonstrate], but they should not remain silent. They should support the demonstrations in any way they can – civil disobedience, outside help, student protests – but if millions or hundreds of thousands [of Sunnis] take to the streets, it would be dangerous because they would be automatically accused by the government, which collaborates with the Foolish Ruler [Khamenei].