New information sheds light on Iran’s involvement in Iraq. Just remember how much Obama “helped.”
Recently declassified interrogation reports from a decade ago confirm a greater degree of Iranian involvement in the Iraq War than previously acknowledged.
Qais al-Khazali, a prominent Shiite politician and militia leader in Iraq, was captured and interrogated by coalition forces in 2007 for his suspected role in the death of five American soldiers. At the time, Khazali revealed that his group and other Iraqi Shiite militias had received training and arms directly from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard. This was during the height of insurrectionist violence targeting U.S. and allied troops in an effort to drive them from Iraq.
Khazali also revealed information about trips he took to Iran with Moqtada al-Sadr, one of the most powerful militant Shiites in Iraq. He told interrogators that Sadr and several other Iraqi political figures were sympathetic to Iran.
Khazali’s group won 15 seats in Iraq’s assembly in May. It’s only a sliver of the 329-seat total, but the group’s rapid growth signifies that Iran may be gaining influence in the Iraqi power structure. The Trump administration is currently mulling whether to declare Khazali’s group a terrorist entity. Khazali now claims that he is not connected to Iran, but we have only his word to confirm that.
These reports further detail Iran’s role in dragging out the Iraq war and causing the deaths of American troops there. This was part of its long-term strategy to become the premier power in the region, a strategy that was rewarded by our previous president.
Barack Obama began helping Iran’s cause by unilaterally abandoning Iraq. After that, the country spiraled into chaos, the Islamic State rose to power, and much of the hard-fought gains of the U.S. coalition were rolled back. He then rubbed salt in the wound by sending Iran a pallet of $400 million in cash.
The money, which was in gold, U.S. dollars, Swiss francs, and other currencies, was part of a $1.7 billion settlement over disputed funds from an arms deal dating back before the 1979 Iranian revolution. This payout came “coincidentally” at the same time the U.S. was working to release U.S. citizens held in Iran and trying to put together the Iranian nuclear deal.
Obama vigorously defended his actions and belittled any charge that the money was a ransom payment. When asked why $400 million had to be paid in cash, the State Department insisted that it was the only way to make a payment since Iran and the U.S. do not have any banking ties per U.S. law.
No matter whether Obama’s lackeys at State believed their own excuse about the lack of banking ties, that cash will be used to support terrorist activities. The U.S. will see — or more likely has already seen — that ransom money used against us to kill Americans somewhere in the world.
President Donald Trump has played a much stronger hand with Iran. By pulling out of the nuclear deal, he signified that the U.S. will not be snowballed or bullied into working with the terrorist state. Unfortunately, a significant amount of damage has already been done by our previous president, leaving Americans and our allies less safe.