News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqIraqi adviser says he quit to speak against Iran

Iraqi adviser says he quit to speak against Iran

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ImageAP: A former security adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in comments published Tuesday that he had quit his job so he can freely speak about what he called the danger Iran poses in the Middle East.

The Associated Press

ImageBAGHDAD (AP) — A former security adviser to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said in comments published Tuesday that he had quit his job so he can freely speak about what he called the danger Iran poses in the Middle East.

Wafiq al-Samarraie, a Sunni Arab, told the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that he wanted to expose the role in Iraq of Iran's elite Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

The U.S. military has said the Quds Force arms, equips and finances Shiite Muslim militiamen who it says are responsible for the death of hundreds of American soldiers.

Al-Samarraie, who was an official in Saddam Hussein's regime but fled Iraq in the early 1990s to live in exile in Europe, said speaking against Iran's influence in Iraq while working for Talabani would have "embarrassed the presidency."

"I have found it suitable to play my role writing books or in newspapers … to shed light on what I believe to be the threat by Iranian influence to global security, the Middle East and (Persian) Gulf regions."

Talabani's office said Sunday that al-Samarraie, who served as chief of military intelligence under Saddam, had resigned because of personal reasons. A statement said Talabani accepted the resignation.

Shiite Iran maintains close links with key figures in Iraq's Shiite leadership, many of whom spent years in Iran during Saddam's rule.

Al-Samarraie's name was on a list compiled by prosecutors of more than 400 former Saddam regime officials suspected of involvement in a military campaign against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s. But he was never formally charged of any crime.

The campaign left tens of thousands of Kurds dead, but Talabani, himself a Kurd, has said in the past that al-Samarraie was not involved.

Al-Samarraie did not explain in Tuesday's interview why he was abroad, but he claimed to have survived several assassination attempts that he said were plotted by Iran. He gave no details.

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