‘No Iraqi government will succeed as long as it violates Kurds’ rights’: Iraqi Academic

“The ongoing oppression of Kurds in Iraq should be stopped.”
Hamid Alkifaey, Iraqi writer, researcher, and journalist. Dec. 1, 2022. (Photo: Screen-grab image of his interview on Kurdistan 24)
Hamid Alkifaey, Iraqi writer, researcher, and journalist. Dec. 1, 2022. (Photo: Screen-grab image of his interview on Kurdistan 24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi academic and political researcher Hamid Alkifaey stated during an exclusive Saturday night interview with Kurdistan 24 that no Iraqi government will succeed as long as it "violates Kurds' rights."

"No Iraqi government will succeed as long as it violates Kurds' rights," Alkifaey said. "The ongoing oppression of Kurds in Iraq should be stopped."

"It's in the interest of Iraqis to protect the rights of the Kurds," he continued, adding that problems in Iraq will continue if the problems of the Kurdistan Region and the Kurdish people are not solved.

"Iraq is made up of Arabs and Kurds, as well as other components," he said. "All different ethnics groups and components should be respected, and their political rights should be fulfilled."    

Regarding government formation talks, Alkifaey said that the problem with Iraq's leading political parties is that they are not used to being away from power and in the opposition. Said parties, he added, fear they will lose supporters as opposition.  

"For example, Muqtada al-Sadr and [others] of his type, unlike other Shia blocks, are not afraid of becoming opposition because they have a large number of supporters, which they are not afraid of losing if they become the opposition," Alkifaey said.

Other Shia political parties, the analyst explained, referring largely to the political representatives of Iran-aligned militias, fear that becoming opposition will lead to them losing "the popularity that they gained through their positions in the government."

Alkifaey emphasized that this political reality has negatively impacted Iraqis and stressed that political parties should get used to change. 

"Sadr insists on forming a national majority government, believing that a consensus-based government will not solve problems," he said.

Regarding the influence of Iran and the United States on Iraq, Alkifaey said it is a sad situation that some Iraqi political powers are still backed by Iran, through which Tehran can influence the formation of the next Iraqi government.

"It is obvious that the United States is Iraq's ally who helped the Iraqis to topple the previous regime in Iraq, while Iran has done nothing for Iraq except to cause harm and has always been a source of pain for Iraqis," Alkifaey said.

"Those political parties should give up that position. Otherwise, with time, they will lose their popularity and their supporters."

Alkifaey also said that Iran is not welcomed in Iraq because of Tehran's history of interfering in Iraq's internal affairs, especially in recent years.

"I believe the US forces withdrawal at this timing is a big mistake because instability in Iraq is still ongoing and Iraqis still need US support, particularly in the fight against terrorism," he affirmed.

"The US is taking this step under the pressure of some armed groups and Iran-backed forces."

Alkifaey is an Iraqi writer, researcher, and journalist specializing in economics, science, Islam, and Middle Eastern affairs. He has been a writer in the Emirati Vision Newspaper since 2020, Sky News Corporation since 2019, and Editor in Clarivate since 2019. He also has been the director of Al-Etiqan Company for Scientific Research in London since 2018.