In a statement released by the European Iraqi Freedom Association today, calls are made for “real and comprehensive reforms”, the absence of which will ensure that Iraq will “lurch towards catastrophe”.
Struan Stevenson, President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) and a former President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014), is highly critical regarding the recent explosions in Baghdad and other cities across the country.
Mr. Stevenson said that the Iranian regime and “its cohorts” need to be expelled from Iraq and the “true representatives of the Sunnis” need to have a proper share of political power, otherwise it will turn out to be impossible to resolve the current crisis.
He said: “The Iraqi population is sick of those politicians who use their power systematically to rob the nation and fill their offshore bank accounts, while the country’s infrastructure and public services rot and the struggle to survive intensifies. Plummeting oil revenues have shattered the Iraqi economy and the combination of venal corruption and political instability has made Iraq a high-risk zone even for bailouts from the IMF.”
He added that recent events go to show that Prime Minister Abadi is “running out of time” and that his “attempts at reform have been resoundingly rebuffed by political factions who are determined to keep their hands in the national cash register”.
Mr. Stevenson said that former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and his men who are under the absolute control of Tehran are the main obstacles to reform.
The ultimate aims of the Iranian regime and Daesh “are to seize control over the whole of Iraq”, he said.
He warned that if national security deteriorates any further, it could “pave the way for a Daesh assault on the Iraqi capital, which would inevitably suck in the Americans and potentially the British too. Obama’s reluctance to put US boots on the ground in Iraq, particularly during the dying days of his presidency, has paved the way for this crisis. But his obduracy could well be overwhelmed by a battle for Baghdad.”
The “only possible solution” he advised, is the formation of a government of national salvation to pacify the nation and unify Iraq. Prime Minister Abadi, to guarantee his survival, must get rid of the corrupt officials and replace them with technocrats who will place the needs of the country before their own enrichment. The Iranian regime needs to be expelled from Iraq, he added.
“The US, UN and EU should quickly use their power to persuade Abadi on this course of action before it is too late.”