Iranian Media

There is very little coverage of AAH in Iranian English-language media. In the few reports that exist, Iranian media are decidedly pro-AAH, presumably because of the group’s role as an Iranian proxy. In April 2015, Iran’s state-owned Press TV published an Agence France-Presse photograph of AAH fighters and captioned it: “This file photo shows Iraqi mourners carrying the coffin of a pro-government Asaib Ahl al-Haq fighter during his funeral in Iraq’s central shrine city of Najaf.” The article reported on the bombing of a “funeral of a pro-government volunteer fighter,” presumably with AAH allegiance. The article added, “There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, but such attacks are usually blamed on Takfiri ISIL terrorists.”“Bomb attack kills 5, wounds 21 in northern Iraq,” Press TV, April 22, 2015, http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/04/22/407464/5-civilians-killed-in-north-Iraq-bombing.

An April 2014 article by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency reported on a bombing at an “[electoral campaign] rally of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq group.” Tasnim speculated that ISIS was responsible for attack, writing: “an al-Qaeda spin-off group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant uses similar tactics.” Tasnim mentioned AAH’s history of carrying out “deadly attacks” against U.S. troops and the group’s 2007 kidnapping of a British contractor.“37 People Killed after Bomb Blasts Hit Iraq Campaign Rally,” Tasnim News Agency, April 26, 2014, http://www.tasnimnews.com/english/Home/Single/349875.

In January 2014, Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that AAH had “urged” Saudi Arabia to “halt its support” for terrorist groups in Iraq. Fars News Agency quoted AAH leader Qais al-Khazali as saying, “The Saudi house is frailer than the spider’s web and our reaction to its meddling in Iraq will perplex Riyadh since it will be hit from a side which it has never thought of.” The quotation is evidence of Iran’s—and its proxies--hostility toward Riyadh.“Shiite Movement Warns to Hit Riyadh in Reprisal for Saudi-Led Violence in Iraq,” Fars News Agency, January 8, 2014, http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921018000634.