SUPPORT FOR GRAND AYATOLLAH SISTANI

AYATOLLAH SISTANI IS RIGHT. FAILURE TO OUTLAW CORRUPTION AND INDICT MALIKI COULD LEAD TO PARTITION OF IRA

The European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) expresses its appreciation for the courageous and influential stance of the senior religious leader Grand Ayatollah Sistani and considers it as the primary support for advancing real reform by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Ayatollah Sistani told AFP: "Today, if true reform is not realised by fighting corruption without mercy and realising social justice on different levels, it is expected that circumstances will become worse than before," and Iraq could be "dragged to... partition and the like, God forbid."

According to AFP he said that without rampant corruption, especially in the security forces, and misuse of power by top officials, "the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organisation would not have been able to control a large part of the territory of Iraq," and added that many Iraqi politicians "did not take the overall interest of the Iraqi people into consideration, and were instead concerned with their personal interests, and factional, sectarian and ethnic concerns”.

As the Iraqi people stressed in Friday’s nationwide demonstrations, the man most responsible for the calamity in Iraq today is former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who, during his eight years in office under the thumb of the Iranian regime, destroyed Iraq politically and economically and thus totally undermined its security.

EIFA emphasized in its August 11 statement that the foremost and most imperative step in any reform is to hold Maliki to account for his crimes and to evict the Iranian regime and its militias from Iraq, otherwise any attempt at reform will collide head on with the Iranian hurdle and is doomed to fail. In circumstances where the senior religious leader and millions of people support Mr. Abadi’s reforms, no delay is acceptable; opportunities will be lost and the threat of Iraq's partition will increase.

We in Europe stand beside the Iraqi people and fully support such reforms.

Struan Stevenson

President EIFA

Member of the European Parliament (1999-2014)

President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-2014)