Dr. Hamdi Malik is an Associate Fellow with the Washington Institute, specializing in Shia militias. He is the co-founder of the Militia Spotlight platform, which offers in-depth analysis of developments related to the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria. He is the coauthor of the Institute's 2020 study "Honored, Not Contained: The Future of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces."
An Iraqi offshoot of the Islamic Radio and Television Union which functions as an umbrella media organization providing support to Iraqi "resistance" media outlets.
Name: Etehad al-Ethaat wa Telfezyounat al-Iraqiya (The Iraqi Radio and Television Union)
Type of movement: Media organization undertaking nonkinetic information operations (media activities and propaganda) by providing funding and infrastructure for muqawama media outlets in Iraq . Supports domestic counter-U.S. operations, domestic counter-political/social moderate operations, or foreign counter-Saudi operations
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union was launched on June 22, 2012, in the Iraqi city of Najaf with a founding conference on September 17, 2013, in Baghdad.
Muhammad Dhiya al-Beedhawee, an Iraqi cleric was elected as the head of The Iraqi Radio and Television Union on June 22, 2012, but was quickly replaced by Hamid al-Husseini, an Iraqi cleric who has close ties to the Iranian Supreme Leader’s office. Husseini holds colonel rank in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—a connection that began forming after he fled Iraq during Saddam Hussein’s era.
Mohammad al-Hamad is the deputy head of the Iraqi Radio and Television Union. Hamad is the general manager of Afaq TV. He has close ties with the secretary general of the Islamic Dawa party and the former Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union has helped create a sustainable infrastructure for muqawama TV and Radio channels in Iraq. Since its establishment in 2012, Iraq has witnessed an exponential growth in the numbers and the capacity of muqawama editorial and technical cadres. The union also help sustain these channels through funding provisions, providing technical and/or logistic support and training for members.
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union also plays a critical role in devising disinformation/propaganda strategies for its members. The head of the Iraqi Radio and Television Union has repeatedly said that one of the main functions of his organization is to devise strategies for its members.
Chain of command:
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union is a subordinate branch of the Iranian-run and funded Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU). As shown by its leader, Hamid al-Husseini, IRTVU has close ties with the IRGC and the Iranian Supreme Leader’s office.
Ten Iraqi Television and Radio channels, including Asaib Ahl al-Haq’s al-Ahd TV, al-Ghadeer TV belonging to the Badr organization, and Afaq TV, which is owned and run by the Islamic Dawa party comprised the founding committee.
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union claims to have included 110 media outlets as its members. Most of these outlets belong to muqawama groups. Among them are Kataib Hezbollah's al-Etejah TV, Harkat al-Nujaba's al-Nujaba TV and iNEWS belonging to Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada. The organization has also included some non-muqawama Islamic outlets and even some seemingly liberal TV channels, such as Asia TV which is owned and run by the Iraqi national congress.
The Iraqi Radio and Television Union has a website on an Iraqi .iq domain. It also has an active Facebook page and a dormant YouTube channel.
The union has a mobile app available on both IOS and android systems.