Iyad Allawi reveals a message of "danger" and "rejection" by Barzani and Al-Sadr, and indicates the decline of Iranian influence in Iraq
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In an interview with the Turkish "Anatolia", Allawi saw that the Iranian political influence in his country had declined during the past years; Following the wave of popular protests in the central and southern governorates of the country.
Allawi said that "things should not remain suspended with Iran and Turkey, but there should be a direct dialogue to put the points on the letter."
He explained, "Dialogue should conclude with dismantling the problems with Iran and Turkey. Iraq should not allow PKK members to breach Turkish territory. We protest when Turkey intervenes to respond to the attacks, and this is unacceptable. Serious deals must be put in place with neighboring countries."
Turkey classifies the PKK as a terrorist group.
The decline of Iranian influenceIn another case, Allawi said, "Iran, although its interference still exists in Iraqi internal affairs, has declined over the past years, due to the wave of popular protests in the central and southern governorates against the political forces and the ruling class in the country."
He explained that "the Iranian influence still exists on Iraq, as evidenced by the visits made by the Iranian Quds Force Commander Ismail Qaani (recently), but the scene began to change since the launch of the popular movement in the central and southern provinces, which launched slogans rejecting Iranian and American interference in Iraqi affairs."
During the past weeks, Qaani made two visits to Iraq, during which he held individual meetings with the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, and the (Shiite) coordinating framework forces with the aim of uniting the Shiite forces in forming the new government, but he failed to persuade al-Sadr to enter into an alliance with all the forces of the coordinating framework.
The coordinating framework includes the State of Law Coalition, the Alliance of State Forces, the Victory Alliance, the Al-Fateh Alliance (the Popular Mobilization factions, some of which are close to Iran), the Ataa Movement, and the Virtue Party, and a society has about 80 seats in Parliament ( out of 329).
Allawi, whose political alliance won one seat in parliament in the October 2021 elections, added that "Iran no longer has the reins of control over the Iraqi street and its political forces, with the exception of some political forces affiliated with its banner."
Government formation crisisIn a related context, the former prime minister saw that resolving the government formation crisis begins with the agreement of the political forces that oppose a unified government program that can advance the country, regardless of the nature of the government to be formed, whether it is a political majority or a national majority.
He said that he informed the Iraqi political forces (unspecified) of the necessity of allowing the Sadrist movement to form the government, as it is the political bloc that achieved the highest seats in Parliament, provided that the others (the coordination framework) participate in the cabinet formation.
But Allawi expressed his rejection of the conditions of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, in which he confirmed to proceed with the formation of the government with the forces of the "coordinating framework", with the exception of the alliance of former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, which Allawi sees as an "incorrect procedure, and a right that no political forces have the right to use."
The Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr had stipulated that his participation with the "coordinating framework" forces in forming the new government should be without the participation of the "state of law coalition" led by Nuri al-Maliki.
There has been a dispute between al-Sadr and al-Maliki since 2008, against the background of al-Maliki, when he was prime minister, launched a large-scale military operation in Basra Governorate (south) against the so-called Mahdi Army (the military wing of the Sadrist movement), which caused the death and arrest of hundreds.
The Kurdish dispute over the position of president
With regard to the dispute between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, over the position of President of the Republic, Allawi saw that this dispute is the result of "the lack of clarity in the existing political process in the country."
On February 7, the Iraqi parliament was unable to hold its session dedicated to electing the president of the republic, due to the presence of 58 parliamentarians out of 329, following a dispute over the candidate for the post of president of both Kurdish parties, Hoshyar Zebari of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Barham Salih of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
On the 13th of this month, the Federal Supreme Court decided to exclude Zebari, who was the most likely candidate for the position of President of the Republic, from competing for the position, due to the lack of conditions for candidacy.
Last Tuesday, Parliament issued a new list of 33 candidates for the post of president, including a new candidate for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Reber Ahmed Khaled, but he did not specify a fixed date for the election of the president.
On the repercussions of these developments, Allawi said that "the general situation in Iraq has declined as a result of the focus of political forces on people without political programmes."
He revealed that he had informed the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Masoud Barzani, "of the danger that his party will enter into a certain political axis against another axis."
The Kurdistan Democratic Party, led by Barzani (31 seats in Parliament), entered into a tripartite alliance with the Sadrist movement (73 seats in Parliament), and the Progress Alliance (Sunni Alliance) that includes Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi and Iraqi businessman Khamis al-Khanjar (71 seats).
The alliance aims to support the formation of a government led by the Sadrist movement, in exchange for the Sunnis obtaining the position of Speaker of Parliament, which was already done last January, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party obtaining the position of president, after the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan had held the position since 2006.
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