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Role of Iranian militias in competition over Kirkuk governor post

Movements of influential militias inside Kirkuk have been spotted, while faced with Kurdish-Kurdish movements and dialogues with Baghdad in order to resolve the issue of the post of Kirkuk governor.

The Turkmen component in the province announced his adherence to the post and also nominated, which the Kurds have considered to be a violation for their right to get the post. However, observers believe that Iran's militias want the post to control the entire province.

Sources expressed their concern about a probable deal that may be signed, at the expense of the province, adding that it may aggravate the situation, especially as all components of Kirkuk will not accept any agreements that ignore their rights.

Iraqi Turkmen Front leader Arshad al-Salihi in a post on Facebook said that the post of Kirkuk governor is a political entitlement for the Turkmen, stressing, "We have an acceptable candidate for this position, approved by the Turkmen, Arab and Kurdish parties." Salihi did not however reveal the candidate's name.

Activists from Kirkuk on social media said that Turkmen and other components of Kirkuk including Arabs and Kurds are concerned about the agreements that are enacted secretly between some parties and powerful militias in the province. He added that the traders who recently returned to the province are afraid that unrest may prevail the province again.

Everyone wants peaceful solutions within the province, but obviously, the Iranian militias in Iraq want to sell everything to satisfy the Iranian regime, observers said, adding that Rouhani's recent visit represents a clear evidence.

Rouhani's visit

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani started a visit to Baghdad on Monday, March 11 for the main purpose of harnessing Iraq’s banks as Tehran’s main mechanism for beating the US sanction on its oil sales, Israel's investigative DEBKAfile reported.

Rouhani will formalize the deal, which has been in discussion for more than a month between Tehran and Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi.

They agreed in principle to set up a mechanism for enabling Iran’s foreign clients to purchase oil and gas, in defiance of US President Donald Trump’s sanctions, by registering the transactions as purchases of Iraqi oil.

Payment is to be deposited in Iraqi banks in Baghdad and Basra, then quietly transferred in euros to banks in Tehran.

Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi does not expect the Trump administration to make trouble over this subterfuge.

He is under enormous pressure from Iran and the Iraqi Shiite militias under the thumb of Quds Force chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani to order US forces to withdraw from Iraq.
Last Modified: Thursday، 14 March 2019 07:33 PM
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