Iran to dump Maliki and seek an alternative to hold Iraq together, report



Maliki- Khamenei 2Regional power broker Iran believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is no longer able to hold his country together and is looking for an alternative leader to combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency, senior Iranian officials said on Tuesday.

Political deadlock since an inconclusive general election in April has paralyzed efforts to fight back against Islamic State rebels who have captured swathes of northern and western Iraq and Syria and have threatened to march on Baghdad.

One Iranian official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said Tehran was working with Iraqi factions to seek a replacement for Maliki, but there were few viable alternatives.

“We have reached the conclusion that Maliki cannot preserve the unity of Iraq anymore, but Ayatollah (Ali) Sistani still has hopes,” said the Iranian official, referring to Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric.

“Now, Ayatollah Sistani also backs our view on Maliki.”

“There are not many candidates who can and have the capability to preserve unity of Iraq. Our ambassador to Iraq has had some meetings in the past days with relevant groups and some of the candidates,” the first Iranian official said. Political allies said Maliki, seen as an authoritarian figure whose sectarian agenda has destabilized Iraq, had no intention of stepping aside despite mounting pressure from Sunnis, Kurds, some fellow Shi’ites and now Iran.

Maliki, a relative unknown when he came to office in 2006, has stayed on in a caretaker capacity since the April vote and said he would seek a third term, despite widespread opposition.

An Iraqi minister, speaking on condition of anonymity because of sectarian tensions within the caretaker government, confirmed that there was a marked change in the position of Tehran, the biggest foreign influence in Iraq.

The United States has urged Iraqi politicians to form a more inclusive government that can unify Iraqis and take on the Islamic State, the al-Qaeda spinoff that swept through the north in June, almost unopposed by Maliki’s U.S.-trained army.

The task gained more urgency over the weekend after the group captured three more towns and a fifth oilfield and reached a major dam after routing Kurdish fighters, who were seen as one of the few forces that could stand up to the militants.


The Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it controls, poses the biggest threat to Iraq’s security since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 in a U.S.-led invasion. A senior Iranian security official said Tehran was far more concerned with stabilizing Iraq than with standing by Maliki, whom it long supported. “With Maliki in power, Iraq will be divided. To fight against the Islamic State, Iraq needs a powerful government and we back this idea. A divided Iraq is a threat to Iran’s national security,” the second official said.

Political bickering and complex procedures are holding back efforts to form a power-sharing government as the Sunni Islamic State consolidates and fuels sectarian tensions that have returned violence to levels not seen since 2006-2007.

According to the constitution, Iraq’s president has until Friday to ask the person nominated by the biggest bloc in parliament to form a government within 30 days.

But a dispute has arisen in the dominant Shi’ite alliance. Maliki insists his State of Law coalition which won 94 seats in the April parliamentary election is the biggest, while others say it should be counted as part of the alliance and therefore is not entitled to nominate a prime minister on its own.

Maliki, whose sectarian policies critics say have pushed some Sunnis including powerful and heavily-armed tribes to support the Islamic State, has shown no sign of readiness to let go of power.

After spending years on the run abroad plotting Saddam’s downfall, he was thrust into power with the support of the United States and enjoyed strong backing from former President George W. Bush even as his sectarian agenda grew.

Maliki placed political loyalists in the military and government, sidelining Sunnis.

His core supporters dismissed talk of alternatives.

“Everything that has been said about changing our candidate for the prime minister post is baseless,” said Mohammed al-Saihoud, a State of Law MP.

“State of Law is the biggest bloc in parliament and our only candidate is Nouri al-Maliki. It’s our constitutional prerogative and we are determined to stick to this right.”

Speculation has been rising that the ruling Shi’ite coalition, the National Alliance, would favor a new prime minister to end the political stalemate.

The Iraqi minister said several names have been floated.

National Alliance chief Ibrahim Jaafari, who was Maliki’s predecessor, is seen as more moderate. But the trained physician was seen as ineffective against rising sectarian violence when he was in office.

Jaafari spent almost a decade in Iran from 1980 to escape Saddam’s crackdown on a clandestine Shi’ite Islamist movement.

Ahmad Chalabi, the secular Shi’ite politician whose false assertions about weapons of mass destruction encouraged the Bush administration to invade Iraq, is another contender, political sources say.

Iraqi officials say behind-the-scenes attempts have been made to give Maliki a face-saving exit. Under the proposal, Vice President Khudhaier al-Khuzaie would become prime minister and Maliki would take his largely honorific job.

Much will depend on whether Maliki’s powerful allies in the State of Law bloc, like Transport Minister Hadi al-Amiri, continue to support him in the face of growing opposition.

“Speaking about dissenting from State of Law is baseless. State of Law is still tightly holding together,” said Razzaq Muhaibis, an MP who belongs to Amiri’s Badr Organisation, once an armed Shi’ite militia.

“We had a meeting today and we decided that we will stick to Nuri al-Maliki as our candidate for the Prime Minister post,” Muhaibis said.

Maliki’s fate also hinges on whether Deputy Prime Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, who heads a group of independents inside State of Law, is prepared to stick by him.

He and other allies may take their cue from Sistani, the reclusive cleric seen as the voice of reason by millions of Iraqis, who has made it clear that it is time for Maliki to go.

“People like Amiri and Shahristani may decide to listen to the powerful clergy based in the sacred city of Najaf,” said the minister. “In that case he (Maliki) is finished.”

Under Iraq’s governing system in place since the post-Saddam Hussein constitution was adopted in 2005, the prime minister is a member of the Shi’ite majority, the speaker a Sunni and the largely ceremonial president a Kurd.




24 responses to “Iran to dump Maliki and seek an alternative to hold Iraq together, report”

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    And in England … A MUSLIM BARONESS who is an MP?? …. Wow.
    Oh, wait … only a Minister in the ‘Upper House’
    And Ok, she quit over Gaza. 😉

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Business News .. Someone will try to blame this on the USA, I’m sure. El Jihad Caliph can’t be responsible of Course. 😉

    “Iraq’s largest dam is at the epicenter of fierce fighting between ISIS and the Kurdish Peshmerga. But whoever ends up holding the dam will face a serious challenge just ensuring that the neglected dam does not fail.
    Kurdish forces currently hold the Mosul Dam, according to the dam’s director. However, even if the Kurds maintain their control over the dam, the dam’s structural flaws and poor state of maintenance present a serious risk to all of down-river Iraq.
    The dam was originally constructed atop a bed of highly soluble gypsum which began to dissolve even before the construction of the dam was finished. The dissolution of the gypsum was actually noticed during construction in the 1980s — during the rule of dictator Saddam Hussein, whom the dam was named after for a time — and preventative measures were put in place.
    But these measures failed and the dam now needs to be grouted continuously just to prevent the bedrock from dissolving beneath the dam. This scenario, eminently possible given the chaos that’s gripped Iraq in recent months, would trigger a collapse and cause catastrophic flooding downstream.”

    Ohhh … Iraq will wash away …. how sad.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      And, Non-Business News ….

  3. nagy_michael2 Avatar

    Put a Sunni in Charge if you want to bring some stability.. otherwise this jackass Maliki should be ashamed of himself for putting the shiites, kurds, christians and some sunnis in trouble for his lack of leadership and being very selfish and dumb idiot more likely.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Lebanon tried that with a guy named Hariri … hmmmm … several years ago … for 6 months.
      And now they can’t even make any decisions. 😉

  4. they are not even denying this lol…
    …arabs…the iranian pull the strings infront of their eyes,in the same time they accuse israel of doing that and the arabs follow
    maybe iraq should be ruled by iran, at least the Iranian has a plan of sorts

    1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar

      u shud shut up once in a while… just try it eventhough its really hard for u

      1. truth stings little one? lol
        we all know how you look down on arabs and manipulate them to your needs 😉
        i can understand your fear from the day they wake up…it’s bound to happen.
        i’ll be siting on the side observing

        1. TheUSequalsTheIS Avatar

          u just missed a gr8 opportunity to shut up…

          1. lol… i love it when you know i’m right but too chicken sh*t to say this

            in the long run, continue this line of ignorant foreign policy that looks down on arabs as if they are beneath you and you’ll find iran washed by sunnis…it’s your time for a hard effort at home to stop your crazy leaders colonial attempts .
            lol omg, it sounds like the crap your rug heads throw at israel for 30 years now…apparently the “sophisticated” Iranians couldn’t come up with a better diversion then looking in the mirror hahahaha…now that it doesn’t work anymore, may i suggest you blame the sun ?

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Irani … Caught it before it got trounced. 🙂
            Not anywhere near as good as ‘The Blues Brothers’ … low-end bar, I guess … didn’t need the wire cage to protect from flying beer bottles. 😉

    2. arzatna1 Avatar

      With your same logic Perhaps Israel should be ruled by Hamas. Birds of feather flock together

      1. explain that please?
        does hamas has a plan for anything that is not war? we do so if you got my replay it should be “israel rule gaza” but that would be wrong too.. ruling gaza is introducing snakes into your own home..not that dumb…sorry

        1. arzatna1 Avatar

          I will ask the same question :Does Israel has a plan for anything that is not war ? Hamas after all was the creation of Israel to counter the PLO . just like Israel , Hamas cannot exist without a war. Just like in the case of Israel ,peace will spell the end of Hamas .

          1. sure..we plan to live
            we work for the living in israel, build the stat, work on water shortage problems, that is an issue, we build cities and develop industry, we’re also gifted in the field of war , that’s true but we’d rather spend our time on our well being then on other people’s suffering.
            Hamas on the other hand declairs it does not want peace, hamas charter is to “liberat” all of palistine which is a nice way to say kill or deport all jews.
            for the whole time it holds Gaza as a hostage, it failed to invest a dime in public infrastructure or the well being of the people of Gaza.all that money went to buying rockets and all the cement went to building the tunnels…as if the population is disposable and can be sacrificed for the greater cause of “liberating palistine” (actually, not “as if”, Hamas does sacrifice the people of Gaza).

            peace would be the end of hamas you say but I say that the end of Hamas might bring peace.i understand you’re angry of all the dead but as long as Hamas rules Gaza, it will keep placeing them in the line of fire.

            for me personaly there is no question- if somebody wants to kill me as a goal- i do not plan on talking to him

  5. MekensehParty Avatar

    Check al-Arabiya . net for the speech of an Azidi woman PM in the Iraqi parliament
    Real courage!!!

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Yes. Don’t need a translation – although it would be good to have.
      Sad to see she needs the ‘protective circle’ to get the message out. BUT SHE DID!
      Need more like that … more Barabies and Hinds too …

      I see they blew up ‘Jonah’s Tomb’ too ….. must have wanted the whalebone … it fetches good prices in the ‘art’ market. One assumes they don’t care about any tourist business.

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        right they were protecting her with their bodies, standing in front of her while some dog was barking from behind and trying not to let her speak
        and her words, just human improvisation
        There’s always hope…

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          ‘Hope’ is all that keeps my friends in Tripoli going …. 🙁
          The 5-yr-old grows up in fear ….

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Later … Justified fear … hope is gone. 🙁

      2. MekensehParty Avatar

        They reinstituted slavery – that should bring some tourists

  6. Are the Majos and Zionist hastening the arrival of the Shia Mahdi/Dajjal/The False Messiah/Anti-Christ/Lucifer/Fallen Angel/Light Bearer/King of Babylon/ETC.?

    Khorasani/The preparer = Khamenei (Already there)
    Yamani = Nasrallah (Already there)
    Khorasani/Khamenei’s military leader = Qassem Suleimani (Already there)
    Shia Mahdi = The hidden Dajjal (Will be coming out of Occultation)?

    The Second Dajjal – 2014/2015?
    The Real Dajjal – 2020?
    Return of Eashoa’ M’sheekha = 2022/2023?

    Iran and Hezbollah view the Syrian civil war not only in a strategic context, but in a prophetic one. In their belief, the radical Sunnis (IS Khawarij’s)will conquer Syria for a short period of time and then Iranian forces will intervene on their way to destroying Israel.

    The Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is, like Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, “known for being a strong believer” in the Shiite prophecy that Iran will lead an End Times war against Islam’s enemies. At that time, the Mahdi will “reappear” and defeat the infidel.

    Both Iran and Hezbollah rely upon a book of prophecies called “Al-Jafr” to guide them. It was passed down to Jafar al-Sadiq, for whom the Jafari school of Shiite jurisprudence is named after. Teachers of this book say that the Syrian leader (Assad) will be killed in a civil war during the End Times.

    A radical Sunni leader (Khawarij “al-Baghdadi”) will take over Syria and persecute Shiites and Sunnis, Allawites and Christians. The persecution will continue until an Iranian army (Revolutionary Guards under the command of Qassem Suleimani) invades Syria via Iraq, killing this radicalSunni leader (Khawarij “al-Baghdadi”) on the way to capturing Jerusalem. Once Jerusalem is taken, the Shia Mahdi will appear. Interestingly, in a modern context, this means that Hezbollah is fighting to preserve the regime of a man (Bashar Assad) that they believe will be killed.

    Keep in mind, the Jafari school of jurisprudence is mainstream Shiite doctrine. There’s bound to be disagreement over the interpretation of prophecy, but these are not the beliefs of an isolated cult. In July 2010, a senior Iranian cleric said that Khamenei told his inner circle that he had met with the Shia Mahdi, who promised to “reappear” during his lifetime.

    A very similar eschatological viewpoint is articulated in a 2011 documentary produced by the office of then-President Ahmadinejad. The film, titled “The Coming is Upon Us”, does not predict a Syrian civil war but shares many of the same details articulated.

    A critical point of convergence between the two sources is about Saudi Arabia’s role in prophecy. Both agree that the death of Saudi King Abdullah will be a major trigger. In fact, this event is so central to the Iranian film that it opens up with the statement, “Whoever guarantees the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, I will guarantee the imminent reappearance of Shia Mahdi.”

    What’s amazing about this film is the high level of detail of the discussed prophecies. It is easy to see why, if you were a devout Shiite, you would believe that the Shia Mahdi’s return is near.

    The arrival of Jews in Palestine from the West and the birth of the state of Israel, the conquering of Arabia by the Al-Sauds and the global dominance of the U.S. and the West are all clearly foretold, it claims.

    A blessed revolution will take place in Iran led by a man based out of Qom. The narrators point to the 1979 Islamic Revolution as a clear fulfillment. After this happens, a series of vague and specific “signs” are to follow.

    The most specific “signs” are related to Iraq. The Iranian video claims that prophecy requires the invasion of Iraq by infidels from the south with heavy use of aircraft, as happened in 2003. The infidel will cause tribal divisions and the evil dictator of Iraq (Saddam), will be killed.

    Other signs include the Westernization of Muslim youth (with the 2009 Green Revolution offered as evidence), the Iran-backed Houthi rebellion in Yemen and the overthrow of Egyptian President Mubarak.

    “The preparer,” named Seyed Khorasani, will rule Iran at this decisive point in history. He will come from Khorasan Province, his strong army will have black flags and there will be a “sign” in his right hand. The filmmakers point out that Khamenei fills these requirements and has a disabled right hand.

    Yamani will coordinate the offensive against the infidel with Khorasani that trigger the Mahdi’s reappearance. The film argues that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah is his incarnation. Yamani will have a Yemeni background and it says that Nasrallah’s ancestors came to Lebanon from Yemen.

    Khorasani/Khamenei’s military leader is given the name of Shoeib-Ebne Saleh (Qassem Suleimani). The film allegedly produced by then-President Ahmadinejad’s office predictably says he is the incarnation of this figure. However, any military commander under Khamenei can arguably be him.

    Analysis of these prophecies helps us see the future through the eyes of Hezbollah and the Iranian regime.

    Iran and Hezbollah are first focused on assembling an anti-Western Arab coalition. The Coming is Upon Us film specifically cites the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood as a step towards this, even if Iran and the Brotherhood are on opposite sides in Syria.

    This stage includes fomenting internal strife in Bahrain, a Shiite-majority country governed by a pro-American Sunni monarchy. A representative of Khamenei said in 2011 that Bahrain presents “the best opportunity to begin setting the stage for the emergence of the 12th imam, our Mahdi.”

    The development that Iran is eagerly awaiting is the death of the Saudi King Abdullah, which will trigger internal strife throughout Saudi Arabia. It is probable that this is when Iran hopes to begin a rebellion in the Shiite-majority Eastern Province where 90% of the country’s oil is.

    After Assad is killed and replaced by a vicious Sunni (Khawarij) leader, Iranian forces are to invade Syria from Iraq. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and the Iraqi government’s slide into the Iranian orbit are undoubtedly seen as dramatic “signs.”

    Once an Arab coalition is formed and Syria is invaded, Jerusalem is to be captured by the Iranian-led forces. At this point, the Mahdi is to reappear and final victory will come that includes a Nasrallah-led march to Mecca.

    These events appears fanciful until all of these pieces are put together. Once they are, it is easier to understand why the Iran-Hezbollah bloc is confident of victory.

    “According to Shiites who believe in this [Al-Jafr] book, mainly Khamenei and Nasrallah, there is one possible explanation. The signs of reappearance of Shia Mahdi are being successfully unveiled, and the Great War with Israel and the disbelievers is just around the corner.”

    The Shiite Islamist’s End Times worldview does not necessarily result in recklessness. They do consider military strength and geopolitical realities, but the objectives of those calculations are to fulfill prophecy. Any policy debate that takes place among them is not about whether to pursue the war that summons the Shia Mahdi, but how.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      My word !! Are you a reincarnation of Wargame ??? :-)))
      But yes, that ‘belief’ crap, that they are ‘fulfilling prophecies’, is what causes the centuries of human strife …. even if they have to re-adjust the ‘clock’ on occasion, in small admissions that the prophetic ability of ‘man’ may not be as glorious as he always thinks it is.

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