Nouri al-Malaki Seeks Arrest Of Iraqi Vice-President

It didn’t take very long after the removal of American troops, for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki to begin trying to consolidate power:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Sunni vice president denied charges he ran a hit squad that killed government officials during the nation’s wave of sectarian bloodletting, accusing the Shiite-led government Tuesday of waging a campaign of persecution.

Acting just a day after American forces completed their withdrawal, the government issued an arrest warrant Monday for Tariq al-Hashemi, the country’s highest-ranking Sunni official. The step risks tearing at the same sectarian fault lines that pushed Iraq to the edge of civil war just a few years ago — a prospect that is all the more dire with no U.S. forces on the ground.

Responding to the accusations, al-Hashemi told a televised news conference Tuesday that he has not committed any “sin” against Iraq and described the charges as “fabricated.” He accused the Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, of being behind a plot to smear him and declared that efforts at national reconciliation had been blown apart.

“I’m shocked by all these things,” al-Hashemi told reporters in the northern city of Irbil. “I swear to God that al-Hashemi didn’t commit any sin or do anything wrong against any Iraqi either today or tomorrow and this is my pledge to God.”

He said the arrest warrant was a campaign to “embarrass” him. He blamed al-Maliki, although he did not say specifically what he believed the Shiite premier had done.

“Al-Maliki is behind the whole issue. The country is in the hands of al-Maliki. All the efforts that have been exerted to reach national reconciliation and to unite Iraq are now gone. So yes, I blame al-Maliki,” he said.

The Iraqi prime minister effectively runs the Interior Ministry, where the charges originated.

If this is an indication of how unstable Iraq really is, then all I can say is that I’m glad we got the heck out when we did.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, Middle East, National Security, Quick Takes, World Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. ponce says:

    This would seem to be the exact opposite of “unstable.”

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    This divide goes even deeper, it’s not just Shia VS Sunni but Caucasian(Persian) VS Arab.

  3. Don’t forget the Kurds

  4. 4000+ American dead to make Iraq a democracy for a total of 48 hours.

  5. tps says:

    As soon as we got Saddam we should have left. The ‘pottery barn rule’ is for the Pottery Barn and not foreign policy.

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: The Kurds are Caucasian(Persian) Sunni.

  7. Jeremy says:

    @Stormy Dragon: This one line sums up the Iraq War completely.

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Jeremy: I agree – but many of us suspected it would end this way.

  9. LinaAimeti says:

    🙂