Wave of Denouncement against Pro-Iran Iraqi Sheikh
A wave of denouncement has been ongoing for three days against Sheikh Yusuf al-Nasseri, member of al-Nujaba Movement, following his comments on the Iraqi army’s capabilities and calling for their replacement by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).
Nasseri insisted on his statements, reiterating Friday his demand to dissolve the army under the pretext that it was formed by civilian administrator Paul Bremer’s decision in 2004 after he disbanded the army following ousting Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003.
Nasseri went further requesting the dismissal of the US ambassador to Baghdad and shutting down the embassy.
On Thursday, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense revealed that it will file a lawsuit against him.
"We call on the Iraqi people to stand behind all the branches of the Iraqi army and to hold to account all those who insult our heroic army," the ministry said in a statement, stressing the army's role in liberating Iraq from terror groups.
The statement confirmed that the army will sue Nasseri for calling to disband it and for using language "unworthy of the heroism of the army" on satellite TV.
"The military institution is the safety valve and impregnable wall which the Iraqi state relies on and which the Iraqi people across the spectrum take shield behind," it added.
The Iraqi army is a "national army that has not raised any flag except that of great Iraq", it continued.
Nasr al-Shammari, Nujaba's assistant secretary-general, denied on Thursday any ties for Nasseri with the movement – he stressed that his statements don’t represent the movement's standpoint.
Then on Friday, Nujaba Movement dispatched a cable to the Iraqi Army describing it as the shield and identity of the country – it continued that, whoever launched anti-army statements doesn’t belong to the movement.
Some called for applying article 16 of law 111 for the year 1969, which stipulates execution sentence against anyone who helps the enemy to enter the country through sparking riot among the people, undermining the morale of armed forces, provoking its members to join the enemy or subdue or shaking their loyalty.
While the government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi didn’t comment over Nasseri statements, former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi defended in a tweet the army's loyalty.
In a tweet, MP Faiq al-Sheikh Ali revealed that he visited Nasseri 20 years ago since he had some documents on the assassination of Mohammad al-Sadr. When al-Sheikh Ali wondered why he never met him before, his reply came that he spends most of his time in Iran.
He disappeared 20 years then returned to demand to disband the Iraqi Army and this is an Iranian demand, al-Sheikh Ali affirmed.