Analysis: What’s behind Iraqi FM’s Anti-Iranian remarks?

Analysis: What’s behind Iraqi FM’s Anti-Iranian remarks?

When the Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein sat in front of the Egyptian Al-Ghad TV to answer largely biased questions of the network's interviewer, he perhaps forgot that he is the foreign minister of a country with highest political and cultural relations and strategic alliance with the regional Axis of Resistance coalition ...

1AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): When the Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein sat in front of the Egyptian Al-Ghad TV to answer largely biased questions of the network's interviewer, he perhaps forgot that he is the foreign minister of a country with highest political and cultural relations and strategic alliance with the regional Axis of Resistance coalition and that he should represent the majority of the society and the coalition government not be the mouthpiece of specific political factions. 

His stances in the interview, in which he spoke vaguely and generally about what he called the Iranian meddling in the Iraqi affairs, neither represented the close ties of the two neighboring countries nor matched the reality of the diplomatic behavior of Tehran in favor of advancing the neighborly relations with Baghdad. 

Record of Hussein's biased stances 

The intriguing point is that this is not the first time Hussein takes anti-Iranian positions, which show the dominance of his party mindset over claims about Iranian intervention in Iraq's affairs. His divisive stances are a long story over the past two decades and are never limited to his recent remarks. 

In an interview with the Saudi news network Al Arabiya, which appealed to the Saudis, Hussein had said that Baghdad would never accept the meddling of the neighbors. 

"We make is clear that we talk with the neighboring states but we do not approve of their interference in our affairs. Our relationship with Iran is a relationship of neighbors, but the Iraqi decisions should be made in Baghdad not another capital," he told Al Arabiya.

Additionally, during his post in the foreign ministry he has adopted postures antipathetic to the Axis of Resistance in regional cases, running counter to views of a majority of Iraqi society and political parties. Axis of Resistance is a regional bloc led by Iran and including Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine formed in opposition to the West colonialism in the region. 

For example, on September 17, 2021, at a meeting of (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council's foreign ministers, Hussein condemned the self-defense measures and legitimate retaliatory operations of Yemen against Saudi oil facilities and military bases to force Riyadh to stop its criminal attacks on civilians. The move was met with protests from Iraqi political factions. 

Also, commenting on a missile attack by Iran's IRGC on a Mossad base in the Iraqi Kurdistan region's capital Erbil in mid-March, Hussein said "Iran has not provided any clear and tangible evidence of the Israeli presence in northern Iraq, and no case of Israeli presence in Erbil was sent to Baghdad before the missile strike." 

Tehran has repeatedly warned the Iraqi government of security threats posed by the activities of Mossad and separatist groups on Iraqi soil, and called for immediate addressing of the security challenges, but the Iraqi government has not taken appropriate action to address Iran's concerns. 

Iraqi FM's double standards 

Serving as the minister of finance under PM Adel Abdul Mahdi, as a Kurdish politician Hussein was appointed minister of foreign affairs under PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Despite the differences with al-Kadhimi, he secured the foreign minister post as he had serious support of Masoud Barzani. 

Therefore, his performance as a foreign minister represented the policy of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the person of Massoud Barzani, rather than expressing the views of the Iraqi coalition government, in which Iranian allies play a distinct role. 

His anti-Iranian comments, which conflict with the bilateral interests, come as in post-Saddam Iraq governments never denied the Iranian services to Iraq's stability, territorial integrity, and settlement of challenges. 

Iraqi leaders have repeatedly highlighted the fact that Iran was the first country to rush to the aid of Iraq unconditionally to fight ISIS terrorist organization, while other countries, to whose involvement in Iraq unrest Hussein closes his eyes, were just watching Iraq sinking in the swamp of foreign-backed terrorism. Meanwhile, Iran without any demands sent its greatest military figure and national hero General Qassem Soleimani to the heart of the crisis to help end the great foreign-hatched plot of ISIS alongside the Iraqi people. 

Moreover, despite a desperate need for its gas and power exports cash amid biting US sanctions, Iran did not cut off the power supplies to Iraq to not add to the Iraqi people's suffering in the hot season when Baghdad government declined to pay its debts because of the American sanctions. 

Hussein must be asked what services the foreign countries he supports provided to Iraq except for plundering Iraq's oil and gas and deploying international terrorism to shed the blood of the Iraqis. Naturally, if Hussein adopts a balanced position to Iraq's relations with other countries, he should speak about the ongoing American occupation, British ambassador's interventionist actions in Iraq, the secret relations of his party with the Israeli regime, and the Saudi and Emirati meddling in October elections and recent years' public protests. 

Iran, certainly, differentiates between Hussein and the Iraqi people and would continue steps toward advancing the truly brotherly cooperation with Iraq.



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