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Iraq rejects disbanding IMIS, joining anti-Iran axis: FM


Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Hakim announced rejecting demands to dissolve the Shiite sectarian IMIS or to join an anti-Iran axis.

"Iraq rejects any call from any party to dissolve the [IMIS] that represents a part of the Iraqi military system. Baghdad will not accept any request in this regard," Hakim said in a TV interview.

"We will not respond to any call to join an axis against Iran; Iraq is neutral and refuses to enter into any regional or international conflict," he stated.

US alleged list

Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi denied news on a "deadline" for the disbanding of the sectarian IMIS.

He also denied at a weekly press conference that the US called on Iraq to freeze and withdraw weapons of a number of militias.

The list claimed to be handed to Abd al-Mahdi includes the military wing of Badr Organization led by Hadi al-Amiri, the Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades, Liwa Abu al-Fadhal al-Abbas, and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq led by Qais al-Khazali.

On January 9, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Iraqi President Barham Salih, Abd al-Mahdi, Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi, Foreign Minister Mohamed al-Hakim and US troops after arriving in Baghdad on an unannounced visit.

Parliament Member Ahmed al-Asadi, a Fatah Alliance spokesman denied that US has sent a list of certain militias to Iraq in order for the latter to disband them.

In a statement, Asadi, who served as IMIS spokesman, considered the alleged list containing the names of 76 militias "lie" released by "mercenary pages." He added that more than half of the names in the list are virtual.

Asadi asserted it is "impossible" for Abd al-Mahdi to accept orders from the US or from any other party.

Pompeo demands

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Abd al-Mahdi to reduce the activities of Iranian companies operating in Iraq, a political source said.

The recent visit of Pompeo to Iraq focused on the economic sector and on how Iraq would commit to the US sanctions on Iran, according to the same source.

Pompeo expressed that the United States is worried that Iran may send funds to some parties and figures in Iraq who are loyal to Tehran, according to the source, in order to help the latter get rid of the siege.

Abd al-Mahdi assured Pompeo that Iraq is working according to the country's interest, adding that everyone in Iraq is committed to the country's official stance, the source added.

Separately, Abd al-Mahdi affirmed that Iraq is "not part of the US sanctions on Iran."

Zarif, Hakim meeting

Hakim's stance toward Iran has been clear since he took post in Abd al-Mahdi's government.

Earlier in January, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Baghdad on a trade mission, where he met with Hakim.

"We discussed the unilateral economic measures taken by the US and are working with our neighbor (Iran) on them," Hakim told a joint press conference following his meeting with Zarif. 


Last Modified: Monday، 28 January 2019 01:13 AM