Popular Mobilization Forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) must be blacklisted

Hashd al-Shaabi is Iran regime’s puppet force in Iraq and must be designated, as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was.

By Ali Latifi

 In the most recent anti-popular measure, the Iranian regime has dispatched Iraqi militants and mercenaries (Hashd al-Shaabi) to flood-hit areas under the pretext of relief operations.

Since March 20, 2019, Iran was faced with disastrous floods that inflicted great loss of lives and properties on the Iranian people.

The devastation of the environment and the country’s infrastructure by the Iran regime has laid the ground for these catastrophic floods. This regime is also in absolute inaction in helping the flood-stricken people.

Terrified by the escalation of social dissent following the catastrophic effects of the recent floods, the Iranian regime stationed repressive forces in the flood-hit cities. Following this, in some regions, there have been clashes between people and security forces.

On April 3, as the IRGC tried to direct the flood to the locals’ farms in villages around Susangerd in Khuzestan Province, to save its own facilities, they clashed. The IRGC opened fire on residents and killed a protester.

On Friday, April 12, 2019, at Malashie suburb in Ahvaz City, people protested the presence  of Mohammad Reza Naqdi, a  former senior officer of the IRGC,  and chanted slogans against him: “get lost, Ahvaz will remain free,” and made him leave the place.

On April 14, regime’s interior minister, Rahmani Fazli admitted through state-run TV, that the governor of Gomishan in Golestan province has been beaten by people three times in one day.

In fear of social outburst, the mullahs’ regime deployed Ghasem Soleimani, commander of Quds Force, to the flood-affected areas to monitor the situation. Soleimani has also brought the Quds Force Iraqi mercenaries, Hashd al-Shaabi, and Fatemiyoun Afghan mercenaries to the area. Hashd al-Shaabi was established under the supervision of the Quds Force in Iraq.

According to the daily newspaper Kayhan, (April 14, 2019), “the forces have been invited to Iran by General Ghasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force.

Under the pretext of distributing the reliefs to victims of the recent floods and preventing the flood into cities and villages, the IRGC deployed Hashd al-Shaabi to suppress any potential unrest in flood-hit areas and to create a climate of fear.

Hashd al-Shaabi has been active in suppressing the Sunnis in ethnic clashes in Iraq fueled by the Iranian regime. Many human rights organizations consider Hashd al-Shaabi as responsible for violating human rights in Iraq.

Resorting to such brutal forces shows clearly that the Iranian regime does not care about its own people. So expecting a change in the regime’s behavior is nothing but a mirage.

The presence of such notorious forces in the flood-hit areas where people have lost their beloveds and belongings and are thoroughly frustrated by regime’s inaction to provide any relief and aid just lays the ground for the social outburst.

Designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization shows the legitimacy of people’s confrontation with this force in the eye of the international community. Following the same course of action, the international community should designate Hashd al-Shaabi as a terrorist organization, not only to prevent their anti-human acts in Iran’s flood-hit areas but also to cut regime’s foreign terrorist arm.

Concerning the necessity of such measure, Professor Walid Phares,  the former foreign policy aid of U.S. President, Donald Trump, Fox News National Security and Foreign Policy Expert and the  Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group, commented on this extraterritorial paramilitary forces affiliated with the IRGC and now stationed in the flood-hit areas of Iran:

“While the Iranian regime sends these paramilitary forces to Ahvaz from Iraq to repress the Arab community living there, some American experts and bureaucrats still think that they are our allies. Donald Trump’s administration must immediately designate the Hashd al-Shaabi as human rights violators”.

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