Who is the Iraqi leader who was named on the US blacklist?

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After the death of Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, the person next to take the alliance’s reigns was foreign to the political and societal stage. However, his name is now known among the country’s youth after he established the Aras Habib Youth Development Foundation.

Aras Habib, president of the Iraqi National Congress and chairman of al-Bilad Islamic Bank was blacklisted by the US Treasury on Tuesday.

The treasury said Habib had a history of smuggling money to Iranian-backed Iraqi groups and “enabled the IRGC-QF’s exploitation of Iraq’s banking sector to move funds from Tehran to Hezbollah, jeopardizing the integrity of the Iraqi financial system.” This charge triggered a need to look into Chalabi’s past to show what he had been hiding from the Iraqi people.

In an interview with political analyst Firas al-Janahi on the subject, he said speaking to Al Arabiya.net: “Aras Habib Kareem al-Faily, who after 2003 served as the director of intelligence for the Interior Ministry and an under-secretary later on, was the son of Habib Kareem. His father was the third secretary of the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by Massoud Barzani during the 1990s.”

Al-Janahi said that “with the transfer of al-Faily to Iran, he managed to develop good relations with Iran, ultimately becoming a close associate of Qasem Soleimani, who enabled him to use the bank to transfer funds belonging to the Quds Force and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

On his part, Habib released a statement in which he denied the charges against him and described them as fabrications pre-election results.

He also said that he has conclusive evidence that refutes what he described as slander against him and the country’s Islamic bank. He said that he will present all the definitive proofs to the Iraqi Central Bank, the sole regulatory body which the bank is subject to.

According to Habib, he will also be following up with the accusations against him in all legal manners available in Iraq and in the United States until the truth prevails.

- With Reuters.

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