Iran Focus: London, Dec. 12 Iraqs former Defence Minister Hazem al-Shaalan accused Iran on Monday of conspiring through its proxies in Iraq to have him jailed.
London, Dec. 12 Iraqs former Defence Minister Hazem al-Shaalan accused Iran on Monday of conspiring through its proxies in Iraq to have him jailed.
Al-Shaalan, a prominent secular Shiite politician who was Defence Minster during the interim period after the war, was accused in absentia by an Iraqi panel of money laundering, a charge he vehemently denies as false and politically motivated.
He announced that he was willing to take part in a televised debate with anyone who claimed that they had evidence that he had misused funds.
The former defence chief, who currently has a seat in Iraqs National Assembly, said that the only way to drive Iraq out of crisis was to have a government elected by the people.
After his tenure as Defence Minister ended, he travelled to Jordan and later to the United Kingdom.
Al-Shaalan, who is a secular Shiite, returned to Baghdad last week despite the court order seeking his detainment.
Following his return to Iraq, he announced that the charges against him were the work of Tehran, which was acting through its proxies in Iraq.
In January, al-Shaalan accused Iran of spending “more than $1 billion on meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq”.
The secular Shiite has repeatedly called Iran “Iraq’s number one enemy” and consistently accused the clerical state of funding insurgent attacks against the Iraqi people.