Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri appeared in a video shared on social media on Saturday.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, former deputy of Saddam Hussein, has reappeared in video footage circulated on social media 15 years after the regime he served in was overthrown, commemorating the 71st anniversary of the Baath party, which he heads.
In the video that was broadcast live on Facebook on Saturday but later removed, 75-year-old Douri, known for his red moustache, condemned religious interference in political affairs.
“Bad Safavids and extremist Salafis have made beasts of themselves who destroy life under the name of religion. They do not belong to religion,” Douri said. “We as Baath are against trading with religion unlike Persian Safavids.”
“Baath believes that people are in full possession of sovereignty. They are the only source of any sovereignty or state. No state has value or holiness if it does not represent the will of a free nation,” he continued, calling on “Baathist youth” to rise up and pledging that his party would “do its best to boost the level of people regarding mentality, ideology, morals, economics, health, and science.”
He condemned Iran’s influence in the Middle East, saying that Iraq, Syria, and Yemen had been “directly invaded” by Iran.
“Therefore they will be our first targets,” Douri threatened, without going into detail.
He accused the Badr organization of being under Iran’s control and placed “great hope” in Saudi Arabia to help Iraq.
Commenting on the war against ISIS, Douri accused Abadi of ordering “the destruction of Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul and killed their people. He also ordered destruction of Tikrit, Beiji and Dour.”
He threatened to declare the war on the Iraqi government and target the interests of Iran and foreign countries that support the Baghdad government, "If Iraqi [detainees] are not released and the blocking of money is not lifted.”
Last month, the Iraqi government ordered
the seizure of assets that previously belonged to Saddam Hussein and more than 4,200 officials from his regime.
The Baath party is banned in Iraq.
In his at times wandering 77-minute long address, Douri said Russia and the United States had also invaded Syria and called on all Arabs to “act against Israel and its ally the US… and suspend their relations with them regarding economics and diplomacy.”
He called Arab states to resolve their problems in order to face together the regional threats from American and Iranian plots and expressed doubt that the current Washington administration would take action against Iran.
“Trump will never attack Iran until the Resurrection Day,” he said.
Douri served as deputy to Saddam Hussein. In his role as vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, it is believed he ordered “Chemical Ali” Hassan al-Majid to carry out the Halabja chemical weapon attack.
He went into hiding after the Baathist regime was deposed in 2003. He was named the King of Clubs in the United States’ deck of cards identifying the most wanted members of Hussein’s regime.
Douri was reported killed in a security operation in the Hamrin mountains in 2015, but he resurfaced a year later in a video sent to Saudi Arabia-owned Al-Arabiya TV.