The former forward, 56, scored 62 goals in 121 appearances for his national team before retiring from international football in 1997. His strike against Belgium at the 1986 World Cup remains his country’s only goal scored at a global finals.
Radhi, who won five Iraqi league titles across spells with Al Rasheed and Al Zawraa, was voted Asian player of the year in 1988. He is the only Iraqi to be awarded that honour.
He fled Iraq in 2006 after its Olympic Committee head was kidnapped during the height of the sectarian violence that followed the US-led invasion of 2003.
Radhi moved with his family to the Jordanian capital Amman but returned to Iraq in 2007 for a career in politics, replacing a member of parliament who defected to join the bloody insurgency raging across the country.
He was an unsuccessful candidate in the 2014 and 2018 elections with the National Alliance, a coalition of Sunni and Shiite figures.
Over the past 10 days, Turkey and Iran have launched a series of apparently coordinated air strikes and artillery barrages on Kurdish targets in northern Iraq.
The strikes included attacks on areas at the Iraqi-Turkish border, where Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants remain active; Yazidi areas near Sinjar on the Iraqi-Syrian border; and areas on the Iraqi-Iranian border, where the PKK and a number of other Iranian Kurdish opposition groups have a presence.
International law appears to be of very limited use here. Both Turkey and Iran claim they are engaged in legitimate self-defense against Kurdish parties launching incursions against them from Iraqi Kurdistan.
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By contrast, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the UAE view the strikes as a clear violation of Iraqi sovereignty. From the Arab perspective, Turkey and Iran are brazenly flexing their muscles as if to remind Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s new prime minister, who the real regional powers are.
Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq simply remain too weak to do anything about the strikes, and the rest of the world appears silent on the issue.