News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqAllawi party warns Iraq PM favourite over Iran ties,...

Allawi party warns Iraq PM favourite over Iran ties, Islam

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AFP: The secular party of Iraq’s outgoing prime minister Iyad Allawi on Wednesday warned the religious Shiite now tipped to succeed him over his ties to Iran and the role of Islam in the state.
On Tuesday, sources in the coalition that won the January 30 elections and that is backed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said interim vice president and Dawa party leader Ibrahim Jaafari had been chosen as the list’s premiership candidate.
AFP

BAGHDAD – The secular party of Iraq’s outgoing prime minister Iyad Allawi on Wednesday warned the religious Shiite now tipped to succeed him over his ties to Iran and the role of Islam in the state.

On Tuesday, sources in the coalition that won the January 30 elections and that is backed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said interim vice president and Dawa party leader Ibrahim Jaafari had been chosen as the list’s premiership candidate.

In a thinly veiled reference to Jaafari’s ties with the neighbouring Islamic Republic of Iran, Allawi aide Imad Shahib said “he has to behave as an Iraqi. He has to be loyal to Iraq and not to another country.”

Jaafari edged out Finance Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, from the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), the other heavyweight in the coalition that is set to control more than half of the seats in the 275-member National Assembly.

“Religion is a dangerous thing for Iraq. We don’t want the Lebanese (civil war) story to be repeated here. There are Shiites and Sunnis in the same tribes, in the same families, but if we go down this road, we will create divisions,” he told AFP.

“The prime minister should not be a Sunni or a Shiite, he should be the best leader for Iraq,” Shabib said. “Doctor Jaafari is our friend … but what we say to SCIRI and Dawa is: ‘Be careful’.”

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