Iran is destabilising Iraq to expand its influence in the Middle East, said BAFS spokesman and treasurer Mansour Silawi al-Ahwaz in a live interview on Baghdad's Al-Sharqiyah Television on Friday.
In a programme that examined the role of Iranian militias in Iraq, Al-Ahwazi said: "It goes without saying that Iran will not seek the security and stability of Iraq as long as it has not achieved any understanding with the United States on all outstanding issues. Iran has a huge intelligence and military clout in Iraq."
He added that Iran exploited several factors to "go to extremes in its plans with a view to implementing its ambitious project of expanding at the expense of Iraqis in particular and the Arabs of the region in general."
A resident of Al-Saydiyah, Abu Yusuf, claimed that militias in Iraqi uniforms were attacking civilians. In a telephone interview with Al-Sharqiyah Television, he said: "Individuals donning Interior Ministry commandos' uniform have stormed the Uqbah Bin-Nafi Secondary School in the Al-Saydiyah neighbourhood of southern Baghdad and beaten and humiliated its teaching staff. They also opened fire on four women who were martyred instantly." He claimed that some 20 school pupiles were arrested.
Meanwhile, "Open Doors", an international nongovernmental organization, claimed that more than 1,000 Christian families were threatened by militias in Baghdad for their refusal to convert to Islam, pay jizyah (Islamic tax), and marry off their girls to Muslim men. In a statement, the organization added that a real campaign has been unleashed with the aim of evicting the Christian residents of the Al-Dawrah area in southern Baghdad and nearby neighbourhoods.