Iraqi PM wants normalisation with Israel, Iran proxies claim

Iraqi PM wants normalisation with Israel, Iran proxies claim
Pro-Iranian Iraqi groups have accused Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi of working for normalisation with Israel and threatened him with legal action.
2 min read
15 July, 2022
US President Joe Biden (R) hosts Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on July 26, 2021 in Washington, DC [Getty]

Pro-Iran factions in Iraq have accused Prime Minster Mustafa al-Kadhimi of seeking to normalise ties with Israel.

The accusation follows Iraq's confirmation that it will attend a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) +3 summit in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, where energy, food security, and environmental challenges are set to be discussed.

There have been reports that Israeli officials might attend the meeting, which looks set to establish a regional defence mechanism.


Pro-Iran elements in Iraq have even claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid will attend the GCC +3 summit, which if correct would mean al-Kadhimi could face issues when he returns to Baghdad due it allegedly breaking a yet-to-be ratified law on normalisation with Israel.

They posted an alleged statement by Abu Ali al-Askari, a senior official in the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia, which said Kadhimi would be tried for "all his crimes, including the latest of trying to enter Iraq into the net of normalization with the occupation entity".

It is not thought that Lapid will attend the summit in Saudi Arabia, a country which has no official or public relations with Israel.

Some have touted the Jeddah conference as a US-backed plan to form a regional defence alliance against Iran, which would include Israel.

Professor Eytan Gilboa, an expert on US-Israel relations at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, told Israel Hayom English that Israeli officials would be present at the meeting.


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The Iraqi parliament on 26 May unanimously passed a law criminalising any form of contact or normalisation with Israel.

The law, which stipulates execution or life imprisonment for anyone calling for normalisation with Israel, follows reports of an Israeli presence in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

Muqtada al-Sadr, a firebrand Shia Iraqi cleric and head of the Sadrist Movement, recently criticised Iraqi President Barham Salih for reportedly withholding the signing of the law, accusing him of wanting to establish relations with Israel. 

US President Joe Biden is on a crucial visit to the Middle East where signed a deal with Israel to deny Iran access by all means to nuclear weapons.

Biden is reportedly formulating a wider regional coalition against Iran and is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia on Friday.