• Iraqi PM Maliki Sucks Iranian: This is Important

    April 30, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iran, Iraq

    Here’s a story worth repeating in its whole, as it will be one of those articles you wish you had read a few years from now when everyone is wondering how Iraq ended up a vassal state of Iran.

    Note the important parts in bold, particularly the final paragraph which reminds again that the US failure to reconstruct Iraq will continue to have far-reaching consequences for the US in the Middle East.

    A pubic relations stumble between Tehran and Baghdad has intensified speculation that one of Iran’s most senior clerics is about to extend his power – and Iran’s theocratic system – into Iraq.

    On his return from a visit to Tehran, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office released statements on his meetings with several senior Iranian officials – but it was silent on Mr Maliki’s encounter with 63-year-old Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.

    Despite a Baghdad blackout on what is understood to have been their third meeting in recent months, Iran’s government-run news agency IRNA released a photograph of Mr Maliki and Ayatollah Shahroudi – who is Iraqi by birth – greeting each other warmly. An accompanying report on the visit barely mentions Mr Maliki, but quotes Ayatollah Shahroudi urging Baghdad to support the ”Islamic Awakening” currently under way in the Middle East.

    Ayatollah Shahroudi, a powerful member of Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s inner circle, is positioning himself to become the next spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority, a move observers say would be impossible without Tehran’s blessing and funding. The Iraqi religious establishment, based in Najaf, south of Baghdad, opposes religious intervention in day-to-day government. But in Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s theory that God’s authority is vested in the supreme leader and senior religious scholars is law.

    Speaking privately, a senior official in Baghdad described the meeting as ”extremely significant”, revealing at least tacit support by Mr Maliki for an Iranian plan to have Ayatollah Shahroudi replace the ailing Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as spiritual leader of Iraq’s Shiites.

    Reidar Visser, an Oslo-based analyst of Iraqi affairs, sees formidable obstacles to the Shahroudi bid, but warned: “By visiting Shahroudi, Maliki did nothing to kill the rumours about some kind of Iranian design on the holiest centre of Iraqi Shiism. “If Shahroudi should succeed … those arguing that Maliki is moving towards even greater co-ordination with the Iranian clergy would feel vindicated – and rightly so.”

    The plan seems to be inspired, in part, by a breakdown in relations between Mr Maliki’s government and religious authorities in Najaf. Despite remaining aloof from day-to-day politics, the ayatollahs wield significant power in their real or perceived endorsement of the government and its policies.

    For months now, all the senior clerics in Najaf have been abiding by an edict from Ayatollah Sistani that they not meet with politicians or government officials. Referring to the cloak-like robe worn by Arab men, a spokesman for one of the senior ayatollahs in Najaf told The Saturday Age: “We will not continue to cover their mistakes with our abaya.”

    Ayatollah Sistani’s surrogates have recently become even more confrontational, openly attacking the Baghdad government during Friday prayers. One cleric widely linked to Ayatollah Sistani, Ahmed al-Safi, blamed government corruption for the failure to restore Iraq’s electrical generation system.

    “When patriotism is absent, officials sell themselves to foreigners for their kickbacks,” he said while preaching at the holy city of Karbala.



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  • Recent Comments

    • Gary said...

      1

      “This is important”. How so? I hope you will expound on your statement because this reads as an important event in Iraq but I am not sure just how. And I don’t think there are any other sites who could explain it to us Jose The Plumber types.

      Inquiring minds etc.

      04/30/12 7:12 PM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      2

      It is a very clear sign that Maliki is moving not only closer to Iran, but closer to the powerful religious forces in Iran. The current Iraqi Shia leader Sistani has at times played a neutral role in politics. If he is replaced with a pro-Iranian cleric, that will further “Islamicize” politics in Iraq and bring the country closer to Iran. None of that is good for US geopolitical goals, democracy in Iraq or overall balance-of-power in the MidEast. Hope this helps.

      04/30/12 7:19 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...

      3

      Interesting, how do you think this plays out with Sadar since he been a thorn to Maliki and has done what Sistani has request on whole. Is this new person someone he’s close and did he study under him when he was in Iran?
      Thanks

      04/30/12 8:01 PM | Comment Link

    • Administrator said...

      4

      Not sure of the relationship with Sadr, but since Sadr has been comfortable working with the Iranians as needed, I suspect he’ll find a way to get along. Sadr still holds the cards in making up Maliki’s “coalition,” and of course can still turn out his militia when needed.

      04/30/12 9:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Gary said...

      5

      Thank you for the reply. It was succinct but covered a lot of ground. You have a way to convey this type of information that puts professional journalists to shame.

      I look forward to your postings and wish you and your family the best of luck going forward.

      Cheers.

      05/1/12 7:03 AM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      6

      Peter,
      With all due respect with your view I don’t thing and see that closer relations with Iran due to the important parts in bold, particularly the final paragraph which reminds again that the US failure to reconstruct Iraq will continue to have far-reaching consequences for the US in the Middle East..

      The fact is these guys you brought them to power and protecting them from Dawaa party (which is bearding from time to tome as Jaafary faction and Al-Hurrah faction…etc.) these parties was crated and funded by Iran long time ago. Off course those slaves who rose on Iranian’s milk still love their milking mother.

      The problem it is US fault brings these guys it not the failed reconstruction of Iraq, although you can count that as one bit but after 2004 these guys demonstrated they have kept US failed and widening it to level that most Iraqi frustrated that US handed them and their country to bunch of thieves and gangs of killers, were in the past they had one tyrant thief they end now with tents or hundreds of small tyrant. They are not moved to Iran as you read “When patriotism is absent, officials sell themselves to foreigners for their kickbacks,” NO they are benefiting from the patriotism from all the chaos inside Iraq because they real “foreigners” inside Iraq and their behaviours and “kickbacks” it’s not new matter as they paid by CIA and State department before so what the difference now if they paid better by Iranians?

      Last things to add Sistani is not Iraqi he is Iran man in Iraq same as Shahroudi he is Iran (Reidar Visser wrote he is Iraqi which he is wrong in this). The Najaf Marjaiah for long time is and place of struggle between Mullah and was kept by so long by Iran’s Mullah not Iraqis.

      05/1/12 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • jhoover said...

      7

      Just Adding this, Farhad Al-atroshi from Kurdish part today saying the Kurd have gained better deals from Iraq in 1970 coalition agreement than today with these bunch of thieves and liars Iranian gungs.
      http://www.alestiqama.com/news.php?cat=siasy&id=1786

      05/1/12 8:54 AM | Comment Link

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