Track Persia – Mar 6, 2017

Iraq’s new Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji said that Iran had made great military progress and Baghdad intends to share Iran’s experiences and make use of its ‘achievements’.

He made the remarks during a visit to Iran’s military and defensive industry pavilion in the sixth international exhibition of military industry in Baghdad.

Al-Araji told Iranian official news agency IRNA that he witnessed what he called  ‘modern and advanced weapons’ in Iran’s pavilion, which in his view indicated Iran’s achievements in this sector.

Referring to the participation of 80 companies from 21 countries, the minister said holding such exhibitions are so important for Baghdad.

The sixth International Exhibition on Defensive and Military Industry kicked off on Sunday in the presence of the Iraqi interior minister and is to wrap up on Monday evening. Iran is attending the fair for the second consecutive year.

Al-Araji was appointed Iraq’s Minister of Interior on Monday after the resignation of former minister Mohammad al-Ghabban.

He is a commander of the Quds Force installed in the Iraqi 9th Badr Corps.

According to his biography,  Araji moved to Iran a few years after the Iranian revolution. He joined the Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces and was enrolled in the Badr Corps. He was trained to fight Iraqi forces led by Saddam Hussein during the Iraqi-Iranian war.

But sources at the Iraqi Ministry of Interior told al-Arabiya TV that Araji was initially with the Iraqi army in 1984 and was involved in the war against Iran. He was captured by Iran, when he pledged allegiance to the Iranian regime and joined the pro-Iranian Badr corps.

The detainees captured by the Iranian government had two choices: pledge allegiance to Iran and have special privileges or refuse and stay in jail. Araji chose the former.

A lot of information has been circulated about Araji and his activities in Badr Corps in Iran. It was confirmed that after his pledge of allegiance, he was transferred to the Revolutionary Guards training camp.

Badr Corps was part of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which was established by Iran and included a various Iraqi opposition parties and figures. After the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, the Council changed its name to Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Badr Corps turned into an organization that carried out Iraqi political work.

During the war Araji participated in military operations against Iraqi forces. He was then involved in intelligence work against the former Iraqi regime.

In the last general election, he was elected as a member of parliament for the Waset Province. He was also appointed as a member of the Security & Defense Commission and head of the Badr bloc in the parliament.

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.