One of the men leading the pro-Iranian rioters as they stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was disturbingly familiar, having been a guest of former President Obama at the White House.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that one of the leaders of the riots that threatened the embassy in Baghdad was Hadi al-Amiri, head of the Badr Organization, one of the largest pro-Iran militias in Iraq.
Hadi Farhan al-Amiri, the Iraqi Minister of Transportation at the time, was a guest of former President Barack Obama at the White House in 2011. What is perhaps even more disturbing is that even then, Amiri had a powerfully anti-American background. At the time of his visit, he was the head of the Badr Organization, the military wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), fighting on the side of the Iranians during the Iran–Iraq War. Amiri was the leader of the Badr Organization, Al-Amiri had very close ties to the Iranian leadership—and in particular, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which was responsible for training the Badr Brigade during Saddam Hussein’s rule or Iraq.
Amiri was part of a delegation from the Iraqi government visiting the White House in December 2011 at which President Obama proudly announced the end of the Iran-Iraq War.
Obama responded to criticism concerning his hosting Amiri by saying, “He has shown himself to be willing to make very tough decisions in the interests of Iraqi nationalism, even if they cause problems with [Iran].”
At the time, the U.S. allied with pro-Iranian Iraqis like the Badr Organization in the effort to depose Sadaam Hussein, who Iran perceived as an enemy they had in common with the U.S.
Kataib Hezbollah carried out a rocket attack against a military compound near Kirkuk, in northern Iraq in which 30 rockets were fired, killing a U.S. defense contractor and wounding four U.S. soldiers. Approximately 25 Hezbollah were killed in the U.S. air-response to the attack. The funerals for some of the Hezbollah led to the riots at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad in which Hezbollah flags were visible.
President Obama’s connection with Iran was embodied in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, which removed economic sanctions and greenlighted Iran’s nuclear program. The JCPOA culminated in the Obama administration paying $1.7 billion to Iran, much of it in cash.
See footage of the attack below: