It has now emerged the leader of one of the Iran-backed para military groups that laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad, had at one time been a guest to the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency.

Hadi al-Amiri, the powerful para military leader who heads the Badr Organization owing allegiance to Iran, was the Iraqi minister of transport under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki eight years ago and was at the Oval Office in December 2011 as part of the delegation led by Maliki.

The 65-year-old Al-Amiri was on Tuesdsay among those leading the supporters of Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups who tried to storm the US embassy in Baghdad. They withdrew on Wednesday after Washington dispatched extra troops and threatened reprisals against Tehran.

The attack on the US embassy was in response to US air raids on Sunday against Iranian-allied Kataib Hezbollah militia bases in retaliation for missile attacks that killed a US contractor in northern Iraq last week.

The role of al-Amiri emerged in the open when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted pictures of the siege, highlighting those who orchestrated the attack, and condemning al-Amiri as one of Iran’s proxies.

Apart from al-Amiri, Pompeo had highlighted three other men – Abu Mahdi al Muhandis, Qays al-Khazali, and Faleh al-Fayyad – as the ringleaders of the siege.

As head of the Badr Organization, which works within Iraq’s state-sanctioned Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), al-Amiri exerts great influence. The ease with which the protesters passed through the high security ‘Green Zone’ in Baghdad to reach the US embassy has been commented on as well as raised eyebrows among US officials.

Charlie Kirk, President of Turning Point USA, commented in a tweet on the photos, “Iranian Militia Leader Hadi al-Amiri was a guest at the Obama White House in 2011.”

Source » alarabiya