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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

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:

    🙂