Maliki says coercive measures against Iran violates international law 

Hakim, Malki reprimand U.S. moves against Iran

May 11, 2019

TEHRAN - Ammar al-Hakim, the Iraqi Shia cleric and leader of the National Wisdom Movement, has urged the Iraqi government to adopt what he described as a responsible position to prevent a “tragedy” and act as mediator between the two countries.

Speaking on Saturday in a local event in Iraq, Hakim warned that his country will “not stand idle by” as Washington’s unabashedly aggressive and hawkish policies against Tehran risk jeopardizing Iraq, ISNA reported.

“We have to protect Iraq from any potential fallout of this conflict because when the call for war is made, reason and logic is forgotten,” said al-Hakim.

The U.S. has recently announced military deployments in the region in a bid to counter what it claims “threats from Iran”.

“The United States’ push to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero signals a transition from a policy of pressure to a policy of suffocating Iran, its government and people. This move will have very dangerous and tragic implications for the region, specifically Iraq,” Hakim lamented.

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has also slammed Washington’s moves.

“The use of coercive measures and threats against our neighboring country Iran is a clear violation of international law,” said Maliki, adding that the U.S. was seeking to challenge a “resilient Muslim nation”.  

The former prime minister added that Washington’s provocations also risked destabilizing Iraq, noting that the country was still recovering from the Daesh menace.

The comments come after the U.S. announced earlier this week that it was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in a bid to send a “message” to Iran.

“The United States’ push to cut Iran’s oil exports to zero signals a transition from a policy of pressure to a policy of suffocating Iran, its government and people. This move will have very dangerous and tragic implications for the region, specifically Iraq,” Hakim notes. On Friday, the Pentagon announced that it will further reinforce its Middle East deployment with an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery further counter the “Iranian threat”.

Iranian officials have, however, dismissed the provocations as part of the Trump administration's "psychological warfare" against Tehran.

Addressing Washington’s recently heightened rhetoric against Iran, Army's Ground Forces chief Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari has said that "no danger" threatens the country.

He said Iran’s adversaries know that any move against the country will result in a swift response.

Washington’s recent measures against Iran have, nonetheless, prompted concern among Iraqi officials, whose country still faces an ongoing U.S. military presence.

Trump has in the past described the U.S. mission in Iraq as a bid to “watch Iran”, drawing condemnation from Iraqi figures with different political tendencies.  

Also last week, al-Hakim strongly rejected any use of the country’s territory “for aggression against other states”. 

Al-Hakim made the remarks in a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield in Iraq.

Hassan Salim, an Iraqi lawmaker and member of the al-Bana coalition in the parliament, has said an American attack on Iran will lead to the fall of Washington’s international standing and will hasten “the dissolution of the Zionist regime”.

He also said that such aggression was equivalent to an attack on all Muslim countries, “regardless of the hostile positions held by some Arab and Muslim states against Iran”.

Iran has greatly assisted its regional neighbors in their fight against terrorists, especially in Syria and Iraq where Daesh captured large swathes of territory in 2014.

SP/PA

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