Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (Arabic: المجلس الأعلی الإسلامی العراقی) is a party established in 1982 after the Islamic Revolution of Iran in order to bring the Iraqi groups together to unite against Saddam Husayn 's government. The party led by the House of Hakim, was active against Saddam Husayn during his reign, administering the affairs of Iraqi immigrants in Iran and other countries. After Saddam's fall, it was one of the main tenets of Iraqi Shiite Coalition. Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, one of the leaders of the party, was assassinated in a bombing when he returned to Iraq. The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq has always been supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq was established in 1982 during a political leadership vacuum after the martyrdom of Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. The aim was to mobilize opposition forces of the Iraqi regime during Saddam Husayn's dictatorship. At first, it was not supposed to establish a supreme council, and this is why it was initially called "The Islamic Liberating Army in Iraq". The army was influenced by the event of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the formation of the Unit of Liberating Movements within the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. It was followed by a center for the "Group of Mujahid Scholars". Then the "Office of Islamic Revolution in Iraq" was formed, and then the establishment of the "Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq" was agreed upon, which started its activities in political, propagating, cultural, ,military affairs and different services.
Head of the Council
In its early stages, the Supreme Council never revealed the names of its members. This phase took about 30 months in which Sayyid Mahmud Hashimi Shahrudi was the head of the Supreme Council. After this, the members elected Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim as the head, who undertook the position for 19 years. After his assassination, he was succeeded by his brother Sayyid 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Hakim, and then his son Sayyid 'Ammar al-Hakim became the head of the Council.
Phases of activities
The first phase is the establishment of the Council. The founders were included sixteen people some of whom were representatives of particular movements of Iraqi oppositions and some of them were well-known politicians and clergies who prepared the Council's domestic bylaw. At that time, the head of the Council was elected for 6 months.
In this phase, the number of the members increased by 33 people, leading to changes and developments in its structure. At this stage, the head of the Council was elected for two years.
The number of representatives in the Council went up to 80 members, and this is the point at which Public Assemblies of the Council met within the framework of a new structure. The members of the Central Council of the party were elected and the Central Council elected the head and the Executive Board.
In recent years, and during the developments in Iraq, there have also been changes in the Supreme Council such as the membership of the second generation of young people and, for the first time, some women. The heads of nomads have also elected representatives to make contacts with the Council and attend meetings. Moreover, the number of the members of the Central Council grew from 10 to 15 members. The organization of the Council is still half-covert half-overt, and its members are still not publicly announced. In the Central Council there are representatives from the Islamic Seminary, the Organization for Islamic Act, Hizbullah of Iraq, Badr Army and independent members.
Regarding political behaviors, the Council opened communication paths with people and figures in Iraq, supplied financial and spiritual aids for people, and paved the ground for a political action against Saddam Husayn's regime that eventually led to an intifada by Iraqi people in 1991 after Iraqi forces left Kuwait.
Orphans of Saddam regime's oppositions were always supported by the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq. The funding was provided by people's donations and supports of rich Iraqis.
The main financial sources of funding for the Council were the donations made by the rich Iraqis and money received through khums. The Supreme Council was an organization affiliated with Shiite authorities (maraji'). This is why the Iraqis who lived abroad donated a significant amount of money to the Council.
The Council has some newspapers, such as Al-Shahada and Al-Muballigh, and two radio stations, called "Al-Thawra al-Islamiyya" (The Islamic Revolution) and "Mujahidin" expressing the official views of the Supreme Council.
The Supreme Council has some facilities and considerable number of properties. At present, it publishes ten papers and magazines. It has several active radio stations, a website, and a TV channel that have programs for limited hours per day. Moreover, since a lot of Iraqis have taken residence in Iran and particularly in Tehran, it has some clinics in Tehran, Rey and Varamin managed by qualified physicians.
The Council has offices in Geneva, London, Vienna, Damascus, and Beirut. Moreover, a number of trusted representatives of the Council are in many countries in the world, such as Australia, Canada, the United States, Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, and Austria. The Council has made attempts in order to open offices in some countries, including the United States where over 200,000 Iraqis live, but have not been successful so far.
Army of Badr
The Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution of Iraq emphasized that the Ba'th regime in Iraq could not be reformed and so there was no way other than military action against it. At the beginning of the war, it established a military unit in northern areas of Iraq in which Iraqi forces were losing dominance. Since then, the military unit was included within the organizational structure of the Supreme Council. The unit was in charge of organizing Iraqi volunteers as well as some Iraqi captives who wanted to fight Saddam Husayn 's regime. They settled in areas of northern Iraq near Mariwan, and specially around cities of Sayyid Sadiq, Kharmal, Halabja, as well as Haji Omeran, Qara Dagh or areas such as Umm al-Na'aj and other areas north of Basra, and launched many raids within the Iraqi territories.
The Badr Army was at first a battalion, and with more training of its forces, it developed into a brigade and then a military division, and finally after the second war of Persian Gulf and the liberation of Kuwait it turned into an army. The Badr Army has sites in which Iraqi forces are trained. During the Intifada in the month Sha'ban in 1991, the Army was very active, and took the initiative in holy shrines, and especially in Karbala and Najaf, as well as Basra. At present, the Badr Army trains Iraqi people to combat ISIS.
A Shiite government
One idea of the Council was the formation of a Shiite political system. However, the Council has at present withdrawn from that idea, pursuing a democratic government on the basis of elections centered on national unity.
- The material for writing this article is mainly taken from مجلس اعلای اسلامی عراق in Farsi WikiShia.