Monday, October 18, 2010

Maliki in Tehran

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki arrived in Tehran today and held meetings with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The visit was part of al-Maliki’s attempt to boost his chances for forming the next government of Iraq. And by hosting al-Maliki at the midst of the struggle among different politicians to be the next premier, Iran is giving its clearest support for his candidacy.

Al-Maliki’s rival Ayad Allawi harshly criticized his trip to Tehran, calling it yet another indication that the Iranian government would exert major influence over the al-Maliki government. Observers believe that Allawi not being able to form the government, is leaning towards the premiership of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, currently one of Iraq’s vice presidents. Abdul-Mahdi, a Shite, is a senior member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), founded by Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir hakim, and now led by his grandson, Ammar Hakim. The Kurds are also believed not to have any objection to Abdul-Mahdi premiership.

The US government, which was pushing for a government of national unity under al-Maliki with all factions present in the cabinet, is now understood to be leaning toward the Abdul-Mahdi solution. The Iranian government is giving al-Maliki the highest exposure during his visit to Tehran in order to strengthen his position and to prevent the formation of an Abdul-Mahdi government.

Photo: Iraqi Premier Noui al-Maliki with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Tehran, 18 October 2010. Press TV photo.

No comments: