Iran-backed groups in Iraq accuses UN envoy of ‘interference’
Iranian-backed political forces in Iraq have accused a UN envoy of interfering in the country’s affairs and “overstepping” her role. The Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) militia accused Special Representative for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, of “interfering” in the general elections scheduled for October, and on issues regarding refugees in Iraq and the crisis between Baghdad and the self-autonomous Kurdistan region. Leader of the PMF, Faleh Al-Fayyad, directed harsh criticism at the envoy last month after her comments on the targeting of foreign diplomatic missions in Iraq by armed groups, said to have links to state security. “We see that Plasschaert has gone outside of her professional role and has become a tool in the Iraqi political arena,” Fayyad said on Twitter. Media outlets affiliated with pro-Iran political and armed factions have accused the envoy of “implementing the agendas of Western powers in Iraq”. Plasschaert has recently made comments which received backlash from these groups, particularly after she said that it was not possible for Iraq’s parliamentary elections to go ahead in October without fraud. The US embassy has been a regular target of armed groups, said to be linked to Iran, in the past years.