Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Kazim al-Haeri’s Elections?

Posted by Reidar Visser on Saturday, 6 March 2010 22:38

Among the more overlooked aspects of the Iraqi parliamentary elections that take place on Sunday is the fact that Kazim al-Haeri, a hardliner cleric of Iraqi origin residing in Qum in Iran, enthusiastically supports participation.

Haeri belongs to a particular class and generation of Shiite scholars: He is an old-school Khomeinist. Always loyal to the paradigm of wilayat al-faqih, he has written extensive treatises on the inviolability of the power of the supreme leader, not only inside Iran but throughout the Shiite world. He remained supportive of such views when Khamenei emerged as Khomeini’s successor in the first half 1990s; after 2003 he has formed an important (if not always stable) bridge between Iranian leaders and the Sadrists of Iraq. In this role, Haeri forms the juncture where orthodox Khomeinism and radical Sadrism of southern Iraq meet, and where Tehran has found its best vantage point for domesticating radical Iraqi trends and transforming them into tools of its own interests… Full story at the Gulf Research Unit blog, where Iraq articles with regional dimensions will be posted occasionally. The comments option remains open at this blog, below.

6 Responses to “Kazim al-Haeri’s Elections?”

  1. Salah said

    when Khamenei emerged as Khomeini’s Khomeini in the first half 1990s
    As far as the Ali Khamenei promotions by Khomeini, he did chose him personally to be his Khomeini also he promoted hi to Ayatollah level although his credentials less than others who are more suitable for this clergy levels, anyway it was Khomeini wish and all other accepted even they did not like it.

    As for “ wilayat al-faqih,” This is just part of struggle between Mullah specially of Iranians descents , there are a lot of struggle or we can say hidden war between them. The Mullahs presently ruling the country of Iran are in a fight for their life on two fronts.

    One camp, led by the late ayatollah Khomeini, believes that it is admissible for the Mullahs to rule the state directly, as is the case in present—day Iran. The other camp believes that the Mullahs should only supervise the civilian government. In other words, one group wants to be the king, while the other wants to be the king—maker. The difference is academic. As a matter of fact the latter camp led by the grand ayatollah Al—Sistani of Iraq can have its cake and eat it too, so to speak. It can have all the say and power it desires by proxy and, at the same time, absolve itself of any responsibility for governmental wrongdoing or failure.

    Amil Imani is an Iranian—born American citizen and pro—democracy activist residing in the United States of America,

    The strain still almost the same, what we have seen in Iraq, Lebanon and other places the attention was and still the same is to built regional dimensions lead by clerics heavily close with Iranians religious “Taqya” that promoting their views in same time they lived and acting to destabilising the central regional power either central government of other in such away that produces more divisions been the nation’s or people which serving their self-necessities and gain more power to play inside the state, as we see in Lebanon Hezbollah is as state inside state where the national army can not or have no foot on militia that control south Lebanon which never been a case any where in the Islamic world even inside Iran where any power rises lead by Mullah against central power will crashed, as per Khomeini’s early days when his get rid of clergy who oppose him in his believe of “ wilayat al-faqih,” , even these day we seeing the struggle between internal mullah who try to gain the power from the central power lead by Ali Khamenei .

    In that taken, this very clear Iran’s plane for regional dimensions now days.

    In Iraq we witnessed a series of Iranian’s clergy although they spoken in different tongue and tones from Iranians but most of them ending hugging each other. Sistani very clear example now days.

  2. Salah said

    May be usfull to read more
    Mullahs, Money, And Militias

  3. To what extent, though, do you think there is a distinction between being ideologically Khomeinist and being loyal to Iran? I’ve read some of Haeri’s writings and I agree that he is a Khomeinist. But then again, so is the Ayatollah Yaqubi, who despite Fadhila’s last minute decision to join the INA, I regard as an Iraqi nationalist. Could Haeri’s accomodation to Iran be explained by the simply fact that he lives there, and needs their tolerance to operate, while Yaqubi does not?

    I’ve not visited Haeri’s site in a while, but back when I was looking through his stuff on Iraq, my impression was always that his aspiration was to establish himself as the ultimate authority in Iraq. In your full post you mention his endorsement of Khamenei to the Bahraini Shia; can you point to anything similar in Iraq?

    It is important to note that encouraging participation, including a united Shia front – not just the Sadrists – is not new for Haeri. I remember that he was advocating this a couple of years ago when the UIA was really breaking up.

  4. Reidar Visser said

    Kirk, I think the difference lies in the extent to which Yaqubi, and before him, Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, have openly embraced the idea of a separate faqih for Iraq (or, at any rate, an Iraq-based one, which in practice would challenge Khamenei if it was claimed as a universal position for all Shiites). Both Yaqubi and Sadr said things that went into this direction, whereas no such faqih role is defined in the Haeri constitutional draft for 2004 (Labna awaliyya muqtaraha li-dustur al-jumhuriyya al-islamiyya fi al-‘iraq). Haeri’s proposal also obligates Iraq to “alliance and union” with all the Islamic peoples, which seems to me to be a stronger remnant of the pan-Islamic thinking than that found for example in the writings of Yaqubi.

  5. To Dr Vissar

    This is by way of acknowledging Dr Vissar’s excellent website and remarkable expertise on Iraq.

    On Haeri specifically,one important text is his introduction/biography of Muhammad Baqer al-Sadr’s Mabaheth al-Usul. For the rest, he seems to me rather unstable in his political outlook, which is what happens alas when leading ‘ulama get too involved in daily matters.

    Chibli Mallat

  6. Reidar Visser said

    Dr. Mallat, that’s much too kind of you – let me take this opportunity to thank you for your own work and in particular “The Middle East into the 21st Century” which served as an eye-opener for me when I read it in the late 1990s.

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