News & Politics

Obama Met With One of the Iran-Backed Militia Leaders in Baghdad Embassy Attack

Obama Met With One of the Iran-Backed Militia Leaders in Baghdad Embassy Attack
Former U.S. President Barack Obama waves prior to delivering his speech during the 4th Congress of Indonesian Diaspora Network in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

On Tuesday, members of the Iran-backed militia Kata’ib Hezbollah and their supporters stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Hadi al-Amiri, a member of the Iraqi parliament and former head of the Badr Organization with close ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard, took part in the embassy attack. In 2011, Amiri visited the White House and met with then-President Barack Obama.

“Did you know Badr Corps chief Hadi Ameri, who led today’s raid on the US Embassy in Iraq, was once invited to the [White House] by [Barack Obama]?” asked Iranian news editor M. Hanif Jazayeri. “FYI: Ameri & the Badr Corps get their salary & orders from Iran’s dictator Ali Khamenei.”

Jazayeri also noted that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to take over the American embassy just two months ago.

Steven Nabil reported seeing Amiri at the embassy-storming along with other Iraqi government officials.

“The storming of the U.S embassy compound in Baghdad is happening in the presence government and paramilitary officials including Faleh Al Fayadh, Abu Mahdi Al Muhandis, Hadi Al Amere and many Militia leaders and some Iraqi MPs,” Nabil tweeted with pictures.

In December 2011, Amiri attended a White House meeting with Obama. He attended the meeting with then-Iraqi Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and several other Baghdad advisers. Amiri’s presence at the meeting was noteworthy, considering his past with the Badr Corps during the reign of Saddam Hussein.

The Obama White House pointed out that the Bush administration reached out to Iraqis who were close to the Iranian government during Saddam’s rule.

Obama would go on to push the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, offering sanctions relief and secret cash payments in return for promises not to develop nuclear weapons, which Iran never intended to keep.

In March 2015, Amiri praised Iran in the fight against the Islamic State, condemning Iraqis who “kiss the hands of the Americans and get nothing in return.” He celebrated Iran’s “unconditional” support.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.