Friday 18 October 2013 - 07:48

Former Iraqi Prime Minister opens up on Iran and Iraq

Story Code : 311954
Former Iraqi Prime Minister opens up on Iran and Iraq
Al-Jaafari served as Prime Minister of Iraq’s transitional government from April 2005 to May 2006. He presided over the marked rise of sectarian violence and the insurgency in Iraq and his term in office was one of the bloodiest periods in Iraq since 2003.

Over the past year, Iraq has witnessed a sharp increase in sectarian-related violence, a trend which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has blamed on al-Qaeda.

Amid the rising flames of sectarianism, occasionally there are people and groups that hurl insults at other religious sects, fuelling the fire and stoking the cycle of violence and hatred. In contrast, moderate Iraqi clergymen make every effort to thwart this trend and try, as much as possible, to limit its influence.

Al-Jaafari noted how for decades and centuries Iraq’s many religious communities – Christian and Muslims – had cohabited and lived in peace with one another without feeling threatened or vindicated.

Al-Jaafari pointed out that by nature Iraqis are tolerant and forward-thinking. Iraq has never unlike other countries in the region prevented women or discriminated against women on the work place and in the government. 

Al-Jaafari warned that although Iran is undeniably an important power broker in the region it should however refrain from interfering in Iraq as Iraq is perfectly able to cater and address its own internal issues. 

The politician also explained that the sudden rise in sectarianism and tension throughout the provinces are part of a plan to fragment Iraq, break its national cohesion as to fit foreign agendas. He called on all Iraqis to help true to their values and remember that a quarter of the population is the product of an inter-faith marriage – Sunni-Shiite – 
“Iraq is one country, one united people.”

Al-Jaafari stressed that both the Shiite and Sunni community are at as terrorists and extremists have targeted both, generating tensions throughout as once united people are blaming one another.

"What you're really looking at here is a kind of zombie insurgency - it's been brought back to life," said Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, who has studied Iraq for years and travels there frequently.