In fact, twice in the past week alone, the Iraqi parliament has blocked new Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi from appointing candidates to key ministerial posts, with certain parties in the parliament strongly opposed to Mahdi’s insistence on having Faleh al-Fayadh as Interior Minister.
This has caused major blocs like Muqtada al-Sadr-backed Saairun to walk out of parliament every time Mahdi has scheduled Faleh al-Fayadh’s nomination, leaving the parliament without the required members for a vote, and as essentially left the government in a stalemate since the May elections.
Of course, it is not surprising that some would be opposed to al-Fayadh, the brutal security adviser to former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, given that he organised attacks on the Iranian Resistance refugees in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, killing 168 people and wounding a further 1,700. He also oversaw the ethnic cleansing of the Sunni population in areas like Fallujah, Ramadi and Mosul by the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces under the pretence of fighting ISIS.
Essentially, Fayadh is a puppet of the Iranian regime, so it’s no wonder that the Iraqi parliament doesn’t want him in power.
The Iranian Regime, however, is desperate to see this. They’ve even sent General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, to visit Iraq on a diplomatic mission to push for his appointment, even ordering Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi to ensure that the vote was passed. Soleimani even flew to Erbil, Northern Iraq, to pressure the Kurds into backing al-Fayadh and, according to British security officials, is directing hit squads to assassinate critics of the Iranian regime and opponents of al-Fayadh.
This has, understandably, sparked major concerns about how the mullahs could well suppress the fledgeling democracy in Iraq in order to create their Shiite Crescent, a sphere of influence across the Middle East that would allow Iran to take control from the Gulf to the Mediterranean.
Struan Stevenson, a former member of the European Parliament from Scotland, wrote: “The Iranian mullahs’ malign interference in the internal affairs of Iraq has added to the growing crisis in the country, where there have been ongoing public protests against the corruption of the political elite and the resulting unemployment and lack of public services….
The international community must persuade al-Mahdi to dump the terrorist Fayadh and revert to the plan of appointing a cabinet composed of independent technocrats. Iranian interference in Iraq has cost the country dear. The blood-soaked sectarian legacy of Nouri al-Maliki and his henchman al-Fayadh should be a stark reminder that the mullah’s influence in Iraq has only ever been malevolent.”