Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Allawi Opposes U.S. Plans For New Iraqi Government

On August 20, 2010 Iyad Allawi, the head of the Iraqi National Movement traveled to Russia. During a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Allawi told the gathered press that the United States was against him, and that they wanted a government that was friendly with Iran. His statement was a way to voice his opposition to Washington’s plan for a new Iraqi government.

Allawi had two goals in mind when he talked with the media in Russia. First, he was right when he said that the U.S. opposed him. As reported before, the Americans have decided to back Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a another term. Allawi is obviously upset with this development as it may cost him the top post in Iraq. Wishing to push back, he claimed the U.S. plan will only benefit Tehran as they support Maliki as well. Iran has been putting intense pressure on the Sadrist-Supreme Council led Iraqi National Alliance to agree to Maliki as PM again, but without success. The difference between the two countries is that the U.S. wishes to see Maliki and Allawi align together with Allawi becoming the head of a new national security council, while Iran wants the two main Shiite lists, Maliki’s State of Law and the Iraqi National Alliance to be the main partners in a ruling coalition, and to sideline Allawi. The Iraqi National Movement has been in intense negotiations with all sides to avoid both of these scenarios, but there has been little headway since the election.

In March 2010 the Shiite vote was split between State of Law and the National Alliance. That allowed the National Movement to garner the most seats, 91 out of 325, in the new parliament. Ever since then they have insisted that only they have the right to put together a new government. That has been for naught so far, as Iran got the Shiite lists to reunite, Washington and Tehran have come out in favor of Maliki, while the Kurds have sat on the sidelines waiting for the Arab parties to work out their differences before seriously joining the fray. That has frustrated Allawi and his list, and was what motivated him to make his statement about Washington playing into the hands of Tehran when he spoke to the press in Moscow. He wants to pressure the Obama administration into changing its mind about the premiership, but that may prove as futile as his previous moves.


AK News, “Kurdish MP says Allawi’s overseas trip is inappropriate,” 8/22/10

Alsumaria, “Allawi says US opposes him,” 8/23/10

Aswat al-Iraq, “Allawi pays confidence-building visit to Moscow-Iraqiya,” 8/20/10

MEMRI Staff, “Iraq: No Light at End of Tunnel,” MEMRI Staff, 8/23/10

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