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Iraq: Al-Sadr is ready for public dialogue that distances the participants in the political process

October 5, 2022 at 9:00 pm

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022. [Karar Essa – Anadolu Agency]

On Tuesday, the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, agreed “to dialogue, if it is public, and in order to exclude all participants in the previous political and electoral processes.”

Commenting on the briefing given by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Plasschaert, he said in a tweet, “With regard to the briefing by the UN representative, what she said caught my attention as she said the main reason for what is happening in Iraq is the corruption that everyone agrees exists.”

“Indeed, this is very true and accurate, and the first step for gradual reform is the exclusion of the old faces, their parties and people from the next government in accordance with the aspirations of the rebellious people,” noted Al-Sadr.

He added, “We agree to dialogue if it is public, in order to exclude all participants in the previous political and electoral processes and to hold the corrupt accountable under the cover of an impartial judiciary.”

“I also support the need for restraint, as stated in the speeches of those participating in the UN Security Council session, so I call for restraint and not to resort to violence and weapons from all parties. I also call for immediately punishing perpetrators without regard to their affiliations, in addition to what was raised about the problem of uncontrolled weapons outside the framework of the State,” he said.

But, most importantly, according to Al-Sadr, “the uncontrolled weapons should not be within the framework of the State and should not be used against opponents and revolutionaries, or for the sake of establishing the rule and influence of the deep State, especially since the current Prime Minister is subjected to enormous pressures in this regard. Although he is the Commander of the Armed Forces, some militants do not respond to him, even if they are within the scope of the State.”

READ: Iraq Parliament Speaker Muhammad Al-Halbousi resigns

He called on the dear neighbouring countries “to respect Iraq’s sovereignty and maintain its security and stability through diplomatic means or through dialogue.”

He continued, “I stand against the insistence of some members of the Security Council to form a government in Iraq. Many governments have been formed, but they have harmed the country and the people. The people’s aspirations are to form a government that is far from corruption, dependency, militias and foreign interference in order to be an independent and stable government that serves its people, not the interests of its parties and sects.”

On the security front, in the early hours of yesterday morning, southern Iraq witnessed an escalation in the form of an armed attack on the government complex Al-Qusour in Basra, which includes the headquarters of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, while the protesters burned parts of the Dhi Qar Provincial Council building.