Pompeo Names Top Iraqi MP as ‘Iranian Proxy’

Amiri is head of second-largest party in Iraq's parliament

US struggles to differentiate between Iraqi Shi’ites and Iran continue to define recent struggles within Iraq, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks to be making that worse, declaring Iraqi politician Hadi al-Amiri to be “an Iranian proxy” on Wednesday.

While Amiri, the leader of the Badr Brigade, has close historic ties to Iran, presenting him as an Iranian proxy oversimplifies matters within Iraqi politics, and dangerously alienates a politically important bloc.

In addition to the Badr Brigade, Amiri is also the head of the Fatah Alliance, the second largest bloc within Iraq’s parliament. This is a large part of the ruling coalition, and second only to Moqtada al-Sadr’s bloc, which the US also is not on good terms with.

Amiri’s role as a top member of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) necessarily puts him in opposition to the US now that US forces are openly attacking PMU bases. In singling him out, however, Pompeo may have sped up the parliament’s talk of expelling US forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.