As Washington and Tehran trade threats, a number of influential Iraqi Shia leaders have warned that a conflict between the US and Iran would be disastrous for Iraq, possibly destroying the country beyond repair.
A prominent Shia cleric, a leading politician and two militia representatives each voiced opposition to a possible war with the Islamic Republic on Monday, warning of apocalyptic consequences for their country.
“This war would mark the end of Iraq,” said Shia cleric and politician Muqtada al-Sadr, whose populist ‘Sadrist’ movement enjoys a large following. “We need peace and reconstruction.”
Any political party that would advocate such a war “would be the enemy of the Iraqi people,” al-Sadr said, arguing that Iraq would become “a scene for conflict,” caught between the warring powers.
Al-Sadr’s Saairun coalition won big in last year’s parliamentary elections, which ran on a platform opposing foreign meddling in Iraq and official corruption, while al-Sadr himself has long been a vocal critic of both American and Iranian influence in Iraq.
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Al-Sadr was not the only lawmaker to caution against escalation.
“If war breaks out … it will burn everyone,” said Iraqi politician Hadi al-Amiri in a statement. He called on Iraqis to work together “to keep Iraq and the region away from war.”
The warnings come on the heels of a rocket attack inside Baghdad’s ‘Green Zone,’ a fortified area of the city which holds the US Embassy and other foreign diplomatic offices. As of yet, no group has taken responsibility, but some Iran-aligned organizations quickly slammed the attack and suggested it would be used as a “pretext” for a conflict.
“We caution against operations that are intended to provide pretexts for war,” tweeted Qais al-Khazali, leader of Iran-backed Shia paramilitary group Asaib Ahl al-Haq (League of the Righteous). He added that “war is not in the interest of the Islamic Republic of Iran or of the United States of America.” (RT)