- - Monday, October 23, 2017


As Edmund Burke once stated, “The one thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”

In recent times, there has been an increased danger that Iranian hegemony over Northern Iraq will be established. Already, the city of Kirkuk fell to the Iraqi Army, the Popular Mobilization Forces and the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Abu Mahdi al-Muhands is on America’s list of wanted terrorists and he has taken part in the attack by the Iranian axis upon Kurdistan. The attack is a declaration of war against Kurdistan. This is their vengeance against the freedom-loving people of Kurdistan who seek to have a better future for themselves by voting in favor of Kurdistan’s referendum.

The attack was carried out with American-supplied tanks and heavy arms provided to the Iraqi Army, which are now in the hands of the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces and the Quds Force. According to an Iraqi source, the same weaponry was never supplied to the Peshmerga in order to fight against ISIS when the Kurds were in dire need of it.

Since the invasion, the Iraqi Army and its allies have been kidnapping and arresting people in Kirkuk who have guns, Kurdish flags and support the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). They also sought to kidnap journalists and Kurdish activists. Some of the local journalists had a chance to escape to Erbil. In addition, Kurdish homes in Duz and Kirkuk were burned to the ground. Many Kurdish homes were looted by the Iranian axis. There are also reports that Kurdish women have been gang-raped.

The Peshmerga forces stressed that they will continue to defend Kurdistan, its people and its interests, emphasizing that this was an unprovoked attack following the Iraqi Army deploying along Kurdistan’s border. According to an Iraqi source, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), collaborated with the Iranian axis in its attack upon Kurdistan: “They deserted key points to the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces and Iranian Forces according to secret pre-arrangements.”

Should the Iranian axis led by the Iraqi Army, the Quds Force and the Shia Popular Mobilization Forces gain control of Northern Iraq, they will have access to vast oil resources. This poses a direct security threat to the Israel, the Middle East region and the entire world.

The present threat that Iran will take over Northern Iraq was made possible following the liberation of Mosul. “After the liberation of Mosul, there was a power vacuum in Northern Iraq,” Reuvin Ehrlich, head of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, stressed. “Now, Iran through its sponsored militias, which are the Iranian-preferred proxies in Iraq, are trying to gain popularity. They are establishing their influence and trying to remove the American influence.”

According to Iranian dissident Reza Parchizadeh, “The regime is trying to take advantage of [Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud] Barzani’s push for independence to ignite a war with Kurdistan.” Iranian dissident Mohsen Behzad Karimi declared that one of the ways in which Iran seeks to expand its sphere of influence is via establishing shadow oil companies that operate in Iraq under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Inside Iran, the oil infrastructure is out of date but in Iraq, it is more modern and via their proxies, Iran can modernize their oil industry and funnel billions of dollars into their terror infrastructure.

However, the security threats posed by Iran is not confined to the oil issue. As Mordechai Kedar proclaimed: “Iran can use Iraqi Kurdistan as a launching pad for missiles so that it won’t be in Iran and, therefore, Iran won’t get the backlash. In addition, there is much Israeli business activity in Kurdistan. Israel is getting oil from Iraqi Kurdistan.”

According to Mr. Kedar, if Iran and its Shia allies obtains hegemony over Northern Iraq, this could stop: “They can hurt and rob things belonging to Israeli companies, no doubt.” Mr. Kedar also expressed concern over the fate of Israelis presently in Iraqi Kurdistan, whom the Iranian-sponsored forces could kidnap and hold for ransom.

The only way to bring the Iranian threat over Northern Iraq to a halt is to support an independent Kurdistan. As Syrian Kurdish dissident Sherkoh Abbas stressed, “By breaking Iraq and Syria up into many states, you deny Iran these things. You deny Iran the resources. You deny Iran and its ally’s control of this region. Iran needs to be controlled and the only people who can do the job is the Kurds.”

The United States should stand in support of Iraqi Kurdistan at this critical juncture. The U.S. should intervene and take a moral stand to stop this, as the Iranian axis is trying to erase the Kurdish identity of Kirkuk. As Edmund Burke once stated, “The one thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”

• Rachel Avraham is a senior media research analyst at the Center for Near East Policy Research and a correspondent for the Israel Resource News Agency. She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media” (Gefen Publishing House, 2016).

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