Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Maliki’s Meeting with Shahrudi in Iran

Posted by Reidar Visser on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 14:04

If you look at the website of Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq’s premier, it offers ample coverage of his two-day visit to Iran completed this week. One item is however not reported: His meeting with Mahmud Shahrudi, a member of the Iranian guardian council of Iraqi origin.

The meeting, which was covered by the Iranian news agency IRNA, was different from the string of other meetings held by Maliki in Tehran. Meetings with key Iranian leaders like Ahmadinejad, Jalili, Larijani and Khamenei could plausibly be construed as bilateral meetings between the Iraqi premier and key Iranian officials. Shahrudi, however, has a strictly domestic role in the Iranian government focused on internal power-broking. True, Shahrudi is in some ways an Iraqi exile living in Iran, but then again there are thousands of other Iraqis living in Iran with whom Maliki could have plausibly met.

Inevitably, the meeting between Maliki and Shahrudi will fuel speculation about the links between Maliki’s Daawa party and Shahrudi. Historically – and unlike other Iraqi Shiite Islamist parties – the Daawa has been reluctant to impose adherence to a particular Shiite cleric on its members, leaving this as an individual choice. However, since autumn 2011, rumours about a move by the Daawa to adopt Shahrudi as a collective marja have  mushroomed. Indeed, at times this has been linked to a reported attempt by Shahrudi to establish a presence in the holy Iraqi city of Najaf with a view to contesting the successor struggle expected when the current leading cleric, Ali al-Sistani, passes away.

Any such move would be of momentous significance for Iraqi politics. Unlike Sistani and the Najaf scholars, Shahrudi belongs to the school of the Iranian revolution and advocates a leading role for the clergy in government. If Shahrudi should succeed in emerging to prominence in Najaf with the help of the Daawa it would transform the outlook of the city entirely. Indeed, it would change Iraqi politics more broadly: Those arguing  that Maliki is moving towards ever greater coordination with the Iranian clergy would feel vindicated, and rightly so.

For the time being, numerous factors militate against such a scenario. In the first place, historically, the Daawa has been more reluctant than other Shiite parties in Iraq to embrace the Iranian doctrine of clerical government (wilayat al-faqih). After all, this was what prompted its split from SCIRI as an umbrella organization in the 1980s and the relocation of several Daawa leaders from Iran. Even very recently, it is being reported that Maliki’s parliamentary bloc alongside the Kurds and Iraqiyya are resisting attempts by ISCI and Fadila to impose a federal supreme law clause that would provide clerical veto on Iraqi laws on the Iranian model. And of course, historically, Najaf has a record of posing resistance to Qum in Iran as a centre of Shiism.

These tendencies may well prevail in Iraq. But by visiting Shahrudi yesterday Maliki did nothing to kill the rumours about some kind of Iranian design on the holiest centre of Iraqi Shiism.

38 Responses to “Maliki’s Meeting with Shahrudi in Iran”

  1. faisalkadri said

    Well said Reidar.
    Tehran could say: Nothing is wrong with two Iraqi citizens meeting each other..
    In reality it seems that Faust is running out of options, or like we say in Iraqi dialect : Maliki is like someone who swallowed a razor blade, he can’t swallow it in and can’t cough it out.

  2. Reidar Visser said

    My goodness, is the consumption of razor blades among Iraqis sufficiently widespread that there is a specific adage for it??

    On a more serious note, several commenters via email and Twitter have rightly pointed out that Shahrudi is also considered in the running for succeeding Khamenei as wali faqih in Iran. Be that as it may, compared to Khamenei, Shahrudi seems to be making unprecedented efforts on the part of Iran to control Najaf and the Iraqi Daawa party.

  3. Salah said

    Mahmud Shahrudi, a member of the Iranian guardian council of Iraqi origin.
    For many westerners and foreigner they do not understand Iranian/Iraqi born matter well.

    Iraq for so long have this struggle on his land, many Iranians and other nationalities came to Iraq for different reasons. In particular, Iranians they coming to Iraq for better living also the religious scholarly which they kept it in their hands rather that in real Iraqi citizen clerics hands.
    After Othman empire fall Iraq invaded by Brits and them the monarchy start in Iraq, then Iraq become republic during that time compulsory national service introduced most Iranians living in Iraq for generations they did not registered as Iraq citizens, some they fear the military service kept themselves as Iranians citizen but living inside Iraq. But they enjoyed all the benefits as Iraqi citizen from schools employment and other services and benefits with sate of Iraq.
    In early 1970s when talk about national senses Ba’ath Party find it an opportunity to get read of his oppositions from communists party and other issue orders to deported Iranians citizens out of Iraq that started but also many Iraqis went with them. In late 1970s when Khomeini took the power in Iran many Iranians/Iraqi born also Iraqi demonstrated in support to Khomeini in Najaf and Karbala and other south cities. That was triggered the tyrant to take an aggressive policy to deported all Iranians/Iraqi out of Iraq.
    So those Iranians inside Iraq most of them they are not been proud to be Iraqi all the time they feel they Iranians than Iraqis. Most Iraqis especially from middle and south, I personally seen it many times when I was 10 years old visiting Najaf with my father and uncles and mother seen their behaviours hateful toward Iraqis/Arab in that city.
    So back to RV about Mahmud Shahrudi he is same story born in Iraq from Iranian father and mother due to his father working/ lecturing in Najaf but most probably they never been registered as Iraqi citizen.
    Please read more:

    Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi, born in August 1948, in Najaf, Iraq, is the son of the late Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hosseini Sharoudi, the progeny of one of the well-known families of the city of Shahroud, in the north of Iran, known as “Sadat Hosseini” (the descendents of the Prophet). The family to which he was born was that of religious scholars.

    His mother is the daughter of the grand Ayatollah Haj Seyed Ali Madadi Mousavi Ghayeni, a religious scholar from Khorasan province. For many years, he was an instructor of theology, and led religious congregations at the shrine of Imam Reza, in the city of Mashad.

    The father of Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi was a theologian free from prejudice, at Najaf School of Theology, he was the first instructor of the said school who compiled the lectures of the then highest Islamic authority, Ayatollah Khoei, in the Islamic jurisprudence and methodology.

    Ayatollah Shahroudi attended Alavi School, a special school for the Iranian nationals living in Najaf, where he completed elementry education.he immediately attended the school of theology, and successfully completed the elementary levels, in the shortest possible time,

    As for pictures you can see more here & here, note that Maliki did not stripped his tie when he met Khamenei as in his last visit, but one note there is no here on other side when both leaders met as should the protocol procedures

  4. faisalkadri said

    lol.. An Iraqi wali faqih.. I think the Iranians are acting truly like an empire giving leadership to disadvantaged (conquered) subjects.. there are many historical examples of this behavior.
    Yeah, Maliki looks relaxed and not at all cornered, maybe he doesn’t recognize the trap yet. Those who stereotype the Iranians may think this is typical.

  5. Mohammed said


    I don’t know what to make of Maliki’s trip. Possible that this is just a visit to meet his Marja3. Maybe it is a Maliki swipe at Sistani who now refuses to meet with Maliki.

    Or maybe with all the controversy about the unity talk coming from Iran’s VP, this is a thinly veiled threat to Turkey and Barzani regarding Barzani’s recent threats at Kurdish independence. Essentially Maliki is saying, “two can play it that way…Kurds you want to leave, go ahead, then there will be nobody to stand in the way of shiite arabs to form closer bonds with Iran..”

    Maliki and Barzani seem to be competing in who can act in a more reckless way. The political reality is that if KRG decides to leave Iraq, Iraq WILL be essentially an 75-80% shiite country, and the sunni arabs (Iraqiya voters) who get left behind will lose out. Then, with Iraq being even more shiite than now, it would be easier for iran to swallow up Iraq.

    For true-believers in Willayut ul faqih, the vision would be a govt in Iraq like today, but a supreme leader either in qom or najaf who has supreme authority over both countries and can over-rule the elected PM/president/parliament when he sees fit.

    Obviously the above scenario would be a nightmare, and I believe Iraqi shiite arabs would never accept being swallowed up by Iran like that. Nor would the USA allow such a scenario to unfold.

    But the level of recklessness on the party of Maliki is astounding in this case. All Iraq’s political leaders need to accept political realities and come to their senses instead of attempting to run to foreign leaders in Iran/Turkey/GCC to settle Iraq’s affairs. And, no, the solution is not the Arbil agreement either. The solution is that we need to have a temporary lowering of reckless rhetoric, try to use the Iraqi parliament to guard the independence of the judiciary and IHEC, get the security ministers appointed, and wait for a new round of elections in less than 2 years. I also really wish that we had term limits so that no PM could have more than 2 terms.


  6. Salah said

    the Daawa has been more reluctant than other Shiite parties in Iraq to embrace the Iranian doctrine of clerical government (wilayat al-faqih).

    For a while RV & US officials with some media outlets marketing Maliki has been Iraqi nationalist guy. We have a lot of conflict here about this believe.

    So now RV do you thinks you’re still in believe Maliki will represent Iraqi Nationalist view and he is the man represent the mass of Iraqis from all the rainbow of Iraq society?

    Where is the democratic process and institutions that you discussing here and you devoted your space for it?

    Are all your thoughts gone wrong? So saying visiting Shahrudi a sign with some kind of Iranian design on the holiest centre of Iraqi Shiism. This will end definitely with price of “wilayat al-faqih” in Iraq.

    So now the Jinni out of Bottle, isn’t?

  7. observer said

    I look forward to the day when you (and other think tankers way out there in comfort land) will stop giving Maliki and Da3wa the benefit of the doubt and admit the reality of this dude wanting to be the supreme leader in a landscape controlled by Da3wa/Islamic parties that profess a belief in democracy as long as it means the tyranny of the majority…..until then, i just hope that by the time you all “wake up and smell the humus” (as Robin WIlliams would have it), it want be too late for us here in the center of the hurricane..

  8. Salah said

    Ahmadinejad says powerful Iran, Iraq will leave no place for enemies


    Is this looks like a new Baghdad accord as in early Iraq history? if yes, to whom this accord against in the region or in the world?

  9. Reidar Visser said

    Salah, you will be thrilled to learn that Ahmadinejad’s deputy suggested a complete merger between Iraq and Iran

  10. Santana said

    So Mohamed,

    What can I say? Isn’t this what I have been warning about over and over again…..and please don’t give me that Saudi – Turkey meddling crap please….nothing compares to this…this is an attempt to create a great Sectarian country that can cause twice the headaches for the region….surely there are others on here on here besides Observer, Faisal and Salah that agree with me when I say Iran’s government is a deadly cancer that must be stopped.

  11. Salah said

    Sure I am not at all, I knew this will be in some stage, I think you and all those who lost their directions that Da’awa Party (or Group of Da’awa) is just Iranian created body with full Iran’s minds and hearts ruling in Iraq.

    RV, the best ever word said to express them was and still valid is (تبـــعيــــة) They were and still and they will keep as they were for ever.

    Good on you and all those in US, UK who thinks different, unless you knowing them but you supply the cover to them all along for the past 9 years. In fact even before the invasion when the west chosen them for planning for the distraction of Modern Iraq State

    I am still waiting for your view about rewriting Iraqi history in regards to a New Baghdad accord

    RV, Peter Van Buren have letter for you from Tehran

  12. Mohammed said


    I have always agreed with you that Iranian interference is horrible and should be condemned.

    I am still waiting to hear a constitutional mechanism to achieve that. If you guys want to get rid of Maliki through a vote of no-confidence and install Jafary, go ahead buddy, but that is not going to stop iranian interference, it will probably only accelerate it.

    All the other recent antics of the anti-Maliki parties simply don’t impress me and go down a dead alley. I still prefer that we stick to constitutional methods of fixing Iraq’s problems. Erdogan lashing out at Maliki is not going to solve our problems, and probably makes things worse. He should just bite his lips. Barzani’s antics about the F16 sales, etc only make him look like an anti-arab kurd who only seeks to keep the rest of Iraq week while the kurds are out buying tanks on their own. As for the threat to secede and take Kirkuk, do you think that is what the voters who support Iraqiya would want?

    You don’t like Maliki, fine, neither do I. So vote him out (that means convincing Muqtada al-Sadr..i.e. snowball’s chance in hell). But if you cannot vote him out, what is your plan B?


  13. Santana said


    There is no plan B- ……..either we succeed in voting him out or he agrees to the Erbil agreement which is the second reason he is PM again….the first being Iran’s intervention post elections.

    Iraq is teetering on the edge of a clif right now.

    I recently talked to Arab diplomats from 5 GCC countries and they ALL regret attending the AL Summit in Baghdad….they said they actually believed there was some hope in this Iranian stooge ……they ignored all our warnings.

  14. Kermanshahi said

    Those hoping for less sectarianism in Iraq, you will be disappointed as the “Arab Spring” has created a wave of sectarianism sweeping the Middle East. All over the Middle East sectarian warfare is erupting, in Syria, in Yemen, in Bahrain and all leaders and factions all over seem to be aligning purely on sectarian loyalties against each other. Maliki knows that the Saudis, and Erdogan want him out of government and replace him with a Sunni dictator, or possibly Ayad Allawi at head of a Sunni government. He is being forced more and more towards Iran every day by Iraq’s Sunni neighbors, which are making it increasingly clear that none of them are ever willing to accept a Shi’a leadership in any country in the region. If al-Maliki now moves away from Iran, he will be crushed and he knows it. If you see how Erdogan, Abdullah and all the other Sunni dictators in the region are acting towards Assad (meanwhile all supporting each other in crushing democratic uprisings, especially when involving Shi’as such as in Bahrain and Yemen), one in al-Maliki’s position cannot help but think: Am I next? If Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Islamist dictators have their way, he most certainly will be, and so what can he do about it? All he can do is seek support from Shi’as around the region, primarily the Islamic Regime in Iran (and also Assad, Hezbollah and allies, opposition movements in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia) and they will push his regime in a more sectarian direction.

  15. Humor sidenote:
    This was funny! “My goodness, is the consumption of razor blades among Iraqis sufficiently widespread that there is a specific adage for it??”
    I’m sure there’s enough material for someone to do an entire PhD on weird Iraqi proverbs 🙂

  16. Salah said

    Ohh ….. Now new things just coming in the news Maliki had difficult meeting with Sadar in Tehran (any one knew Sadar he is in Tehran, is he before or called by his handler to come there).

    New wire telling Sadar agreed (of course on order form his handler) to support Maliki and keep sporting Dawlat –Al-qannon also not anticipated with the case of withdraw confidence from Maliki.

    Let read”
    الصدر يعلن دعمه للمالكي على عدم سحب الثقة منه وتاييده

    كشف مصدر حكومي رفيع المستوى رافق رئيس الوزراء في زيارته الى طهران عن حصول المالكي على دعم وتاكيد زعيم التيار الصدري السيد مقتدى الصدر على عدم سحب الثقة منه وتاييده مؤكداُ ان المالكي أسترجع الطائرة الايرانية المهداة من طهران.
    وقال المصدر الذي رفض ذكر اسمه إن المالكي التقى زعيم التيار الصدري مقتدى الصدر في طهران قبل ساعة من عودته الى بغداد حيث بحث معه تفاصيل الأزمة داخل للتحالف الوطني ومساعي بعضها لتأييد فكرة سحب الثقة عن المالكي كما بحث الاوضاع السياسية في العراق والمنطقة.

    إيران ضمنت ولاء التيار الصدري للمالكي

    هذا يعني أيضا ان التيار غير موقفه خلال 24 ساعة بعد أن اعلن وقبل تدخل طهران انه سيحضر الاجتماع التشاوري الذي دعا اليه مسعود البرزاني رئيس اقليم كردستان لبحث مسألة سحب الثقة من الحكومة، و«لا إصرار لديه على بقاء المالكي في السلطة في حال وجود إجماع وطني على بديل له».
    الآن المعادلة تغيرت ـ كما تقول المصادرـ حيث ضمنت ايران اغلبية التحالف الشيعي لدعم المالكي بعد ان كان مهددا بالاقالة، وقد تضمن ولاء المعارضين المتبقين في المجلس الاسلامي الأعلى،فيما يحاول المعارضون الرئيسيون له (الكردستاني والعراقية والعلمانيون واليسار والتيار الديموقراطي) عدم اضاعة الوقت وجعل الأزمة شديدة على المالكي بحيث لن ينفعه الدعم الايراني ولا الأميركي، كما تعتقد تلك المصادر، قائلة ان الوضع خطر جدا وان خصوم المالكي باتوا أرقاما صعبة في المعادلة العراقية لا يمكن شطبها بقلم ايراني. ولكن يمكن مسحها بـ«المّساحة» الأميركية.

  17. Nicholas Jack Herrmann said

    Does anyone have any knowledge of the specific dates Muqtada al-Sadr’s studies were being overseen by Shahrudi?

  18. Reidar Visser said

    I, for one, don’t have them. In fact everything I can remember having seen on the Qom mentors of Muqtada other than Kazim al-Haeri has been speculative. This includes Shahrudi (reports going back to 2008, I think) as well as Mezbah-Yazdi.

  19. Nicholas Jack Herrmann said

    The relationship among all of these senior Shia clerics in Iraq and Iran can be quite confusing. I think it was in Faleh Jabar’s The Shiite Movement of Iraq where I read that Baqir al-Sadr had actually dispatched Shahrudi to Iran years ago where Shahrudi actually ended up playing a key role in founding SCIRI.

  20. Salah said

    Nicholas Jack Herrmann
    “The relationship among all of these senior Shia clerics in Iraq and Iran can be quite confusing”

    Nicholas,it’s not confusing if you knew them well and how this mentality work with them, You need to understand that those you call ” senior Shia clerics” (defiantly M. Sadar not of them neither Maliki he is not clerics) they not more than slaves to their Iranian handles their loyalty to Mullah defiant and not limited.

  21. Mohammed said


    No plan B? Ok suit yourself. I am just on the sidelines as an armchair quarterback, so what do I know! But this armschair quarterback thinks that Maliki will still be PM 1 year from now, and the arbil agreement will never be implemented.

    Iran will NEVER allow Muqtada Sadr to team up with Iraqiya, and I doubt that Muqtada Sadr would even want to..he is playing you guys like the violin..he loves red carpet treatment just about as much as some good bamia and threed. Let me get this straight…you are counting on the man who commanded the JAM that massacred thousands of sunnis to be your savior??

    Santana, you are a straight-shooter and a realist…but what am I missing here??


  22. Salah said

    So there is new development, in Irbil Sadar had meeting with Massoud Barazani for 3 hours focal point not renewing for Maliki for 3rd term in his office.

    After the meeting Massoud Barazani fly to UAE for a visit, most probably he is push forward of UAE interest for investing in northern Iraq “Kurdistan” also to benefits from their experiences to develop Kurdistan.

    الصدر في اربيل :

    اجتماعي مسائي مع بارزاني امتد لثلاث ساعات

    امضى زعيم التيار الصدري، السيد مقتدى الصدر مساء امس الخميس نحو ثلاث ساعات في اجتماعات متواصلة مع كبار القادة في اقليم كردستان، بعد مأدبة عشاء اقامها على شرفه رئيس الاقليم مسعود بارزاني.

    واكد مصدر قريب من اجواء الاجتماعات بين الصدر وبارزاني ان “الزعيمين توصلا الى ضرورة عدم تجديد الولاية لرئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي اكثر من الثانية التي ستنتهي بعد عامين”، مؤكدا ان هذا “القرار سيتم اعتماده مع اي رئيس وزراء عراقي مقبل”.

  23. Santana said

    Thanks Mohamed-

    I totally agree with you that Moqtada and the Sadrists Terrorists cannot be relied upon at all…and I have mentioned this in previous posts…..infact with Iran so heavily involved in Iraq and pretty much controlling all the Shiite groups and not just the Sadrists then I am not optimistic…..but what I do know is that if that door (of a no confidence vote) is closed to Allawi then either Maliki agrees to the Erbil agreement ….or there will be several resistence groups in Central Iraq that will coordinate with Barzani’s Kurds and the Iraqi resistance is back more powerful than ever and they will solicit help from wherever they have to….battle lines will be drawn… no one is going to wait till Maliki brings in the Revolutionary Guards into Iraq under a new “United Islamic Republic” …..The U.S administration will be in a very awkward position towrds the end of this year when Iraq is in total turmoil.

  24. Reidar Visser said

    What I dont get is this. If Maliki falls (or the Arbil agreement implemented) everyone will know it was thanks to Muqtada. He is the only one who has the swing vote needed to put pressure on Maliki.

    Also, everyone knows where Sadr’s jet took him after he had been in Kurdistan yesterday. He went back to Iran. The Iraqi nationalist Sadrists may have existed in 2004 and may even have been resuscitated in 2008 but I am not sure where they are today.

    In other words, if Maliki falls, or Arbil is implemented, it will be because Iran sees it as a preferential outcome, as simple as that. This is why I find it difficult to advocate any of those options from an anti-Iranian platform.

  25. Mohammed said


    I am glad you understand that Sadr is not going to support you guys. He pretty much said so yesterday.

    You keep bringing up the Arbil agreement, but I frankly don’t even know what it states precisely. Maybe it was just an agreement between Allawi/Barzani/Maliki about a time-share condo in Arbil? 🙂 My point is that if you want people to respect democracy, and you threaten “that it’s either Arbil agreement or armed resistance!” then shouldn’t you be able to provide a document that shows the terms that all the parties signed to? The Iraqi people are not allowed to see what their “leaders” agreed to on their behalf? Is that democractic?

    With regards to “armed resistance,” this will not be a viable plan B either. Barzani and co. will not get into armed resistance against the central Govt—they have way too much to lose, and all the oil companies will flee the KRG area if that were to happen. The PUK will also not go along with that. This leaves us the central areas and mosul, and frankly Sunnis and Shia are sick and tired of war and violence. Sunnis may hate Maliki, but they will not be willing to go to war (they lost the last civil war of 2006-2007). Violence has gone down, salaries are going up, and people again have too much to lose. Who do you know that is willing to sacrifice his son for Allawi/Hashemi/Mutlaq ? If the USA got a hint that Iraqiya wanted to proceed down that direction, they would not go along, and most likely work like mad to break up Iraqiya so that they are weaker than even now. Maliki will also figure out how to bribe enough locals in anbar/mosul with juicy contracts so that they refuse to go along with such bloody adventures.

    You need a viable plan B my friend. If not, even if things stay the way they are now, that will likely suit Maliki just fine. He could care less if all of Iraqiya is cooped up in KRG or Turkey. KRG will likely settle with Maliki sooner or later on a temporary basis because KRG financial/budget/oil issues trump Iraqiya’s needs.


  26. observer said

    I was told that in last week’s meeting between allawi and talabani, the latter still refuses to acknowledge Malik/Da3wa is/are a threat to a democratic Iraq. It seems that Talabani and RV are the last hold outs 🙂 I can understand Talabani’s position, but not that of RV..

    Santana, you do know that the replacement is to be from INA – right? Further, I will reveal that we are aware that Maliki fully intends to negate the wil of the parliament even if it came to the 183 votes. The issue of the F16s is not a red herring at all. In two years, there will be an election and this time the US army is not going to be around to stop maliki from taking over the HQ of the election commission to stop the vote like he tried to do last elections.

  27. Reidar Visser said

    Observer, just to be clear, are you suggesting the Sadrists will support Abd al-Mahdi as new premier? The only other INA candidate I can think of is Chalabi. Or Bayan Jabr. The rest, including Jaafari, are State of Law.

    One more point: The idea that a group of politicians can change the PM by fiat is misleading. It is another concoction of Allawi’s that has zero constitutional basis. As per article 61-8, if the PM is sacked, the govt has fallen and it is the job of the president to find a new PM candidate according to article 76. The president is Talabani.

  28. observer said

    The sadrists are under intense pressure from iran to keep Maliki in place. I am not at liberty to reveal much more, but I will say that you are lacking in imagination in selecting candidates. Have you forgotten Suhail? What about another “unknown” from Da3wa, ala Maliki of 2007. Don;t you think that would be more elegant and it will result in the breakup of Da3wa into more splinters.

    by the way, I think that Santana is off on the wrong track by calling for civil insurrection, but let me tell you that the Kurds WILL not let history repeat itself. Yes – that means it what it means. You think the Kurds are going to let Maliki control 16 out of 18 divisions of the Iraqi army with heavy weapons and just wait in their homes to be slaughtered once more while the world shrugs its shoulders? If so, then you do not understand the Kurds.

    Allawi is in KRG and we will see what comes out in the next few days, but your “one more point” is a mis-read. Ever heard of blocks, and whips and majority and minority leaders? Does the US congress meet in its entirety to decide on major bills? In the end, it will have to be put to a vote and it is the job of the whips to make sure that the vote goes according to blocks.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Maliki is going to use the coffers of the state and everything he has to buy votes, and this a known fact and it is happening right now. Do not forget that Maliki may even give in on all his points just to stay… The question is: Who is going to trust empty promises any more? Not Barazani. I need not say much more at this time.

  29. observer said

    oh by the way, the agreement of Irbil is in two parts. One signed by Maliki allawi and Barazani and the other put together by committee and signed by representatives. I have seen them both and frankly I do not see any reason why the two documents are not published yet. Sistani’s representative (Safi) called for the agreement to be published yesterday. Let us see who is going to be the first to respond.

  30. Reidar Visser said

    Point abt procedure is that all ministers will have to leave their offices as Talabani finds a new PM. Many incumbents will be reluctant to do so.

  31. observer said

    there can be a take care government.. No? Also a point that just struck my mind. how come you (and other think tankers) are always concerned with the constitutionality of Allawi and company maneuvers but not the unconstitutional concrete moves and actions of Maliki and company (i.e. the politicization of the courts, the taking over of the central bank, the election commission). Aren’t the latter steps a bigger threat to the future of democracy in Iraq? Or am I just reading too much into your positions.

  32. Reidar Visser said

    The current government becomes the caretaker govt until a new one has been formed, i.e. they are identical. You will see from previous posts that I have amply criticised Maliki’s politicisation of the courts. But what Allawi & Kurds are coming up with is more blatant in that it specifically contradicts constitutional procedures for the most basic acts of government formation.

  33. faisalkadri said

    Do you still believe the president’s position in Iraq is ceremonial and without real power??

  34. Reidar Visser said

    I have previously said this is the one scenario in which he does have some real power.

  35. faisalkadri said

    Is this the Irbil agreement?

    نص اتفاقية أربيل ( بحسب وكالة الفرات نيوز ) ببنودها التسعه :

    المحور الأول/ الجانب الاداري والمالي:
    1- أمتياز الاعضاء : اعادة النظر بالقوانين الصادرة الخاصة بامتيازات الاعضاء واستبدالهم (الحقوق، الرواتب، الحمايات، التقاعد، الصلاحيات المالية والادارية).
    2- اصلاح الدائرة البرلمانية: وتقوية كادرها كي تقوم بمسؤوليتها في تهيئة
    القوانين للتشريع ومتابعة قوانين اللجان المختلفة ضمن سقف زمني محدد وعدم اهمال القوانين المقدمة على شكل مشروع او مقترح قانون من والى المجلس
    المحور الثاني/ التشريعات والقوانين:
    1- اعادة تشكيل لجنة التعديلات الدستورية : بما يكفل مشاركة حقيقية لجميع الكتل الفائزة في هذه اللجنة وانجاز التعديلات المتفق عليها.
    2- السقف الزمني للتشريعات : وضع سقف زمني لتشريع جميع القوانين التي أوجز الدستور تشريعها لكنها لم تشرع وان يتم ذلك بالتنسيق بين الدائرة
    البرلمانية واللجنة القانونية واللجان البرلمانية المختصة من جهة ورئاسة المجلس والكتل السياسية من جهة اخرى وحسب الاسبقية والاولوية التالية:
    – قانون المحكمة الاتحادية
    – قانون النفط والغاز
    – قانون المصالحة الوطنية
    – قانون تنظيم الاجهزة الامنية
    – قانون الاحزاب
    – قانون مجلس الاتحاد
    – قانون الانتخابات
    – قانون مفوضية الانتخابات
    – قانون شبكة الاعلام
    – قانون هيئة النزاهة
    – قانون المفتشين العامين
    – قانون ديوان الرقابة المالية
    – قانون هيئة التوازن
    – قانون الايرادات الاتحادية
    – قانون السلطة التنفيذية
    – قانون العمل الصحفي وحماية الصحفيين
    3- تشكيل اللجان البرلمانية الدائمة : وتوزيع رئاستها ونيابتها والمقررين
    وفق الاستحقاق الانتخابي والتوازن الدستوري.

    المحور الثالث / الدور الرقابي
    1- تفعيل ارتباط الهيئات المستقلة بمجلس النواب: وفقا للدستور (هيئة
    النزاهة، ديوان الرقابة المالية، شبكة الاعلام، هيئة الاتصالات والاعلام) وطبقا لقرار المحكمة الاتحادية.
    2- انهاء ومعالجة قضية المسؤولية او المنصب الرسمي بالوكالة (وزير وكالة، رئيس هيئة، ووكيل وزارة…الخ) خلال ثلاثة اشهر من بداية عمل مجلس النواب
    مع ضمان التوازن الدستوري.
    3- تفعيل دور اجهزة الاعلام المختلفة باعتبارها سلطة رابعة وتشريع قانون العمل الصحفي وقانون حماية الصحفيين.
    4- وضع آلية واضحة ومتفق عليها لاستدعاء واستجواب اعضاء السلطة التنفيذية وعدم ترك ذلك لتفسير الرئاسة.

    المحور الرابع/ ورقة اصلاح الملف الأمني
    1- قانون الاجهزة الامنية وصلاحياتها اقرار قانون الاجهزة الامنية الذي يحدد الاجهزة الامنية العاملة ومهام وصلاحية كل جهاز لتحقيق حالة التكامل وتجنب التقاطعات في اختصاصات
    الاجهزة الامنية.
    2- ضرورة تاهيل الاجهزة الامنية بما يحقق اعلى درجات المهنية.
    3- اخضاع الاجهزة الامنية للمساءلة في مجلس النواب (وفقا للسياقات الدستورية) وسن القوانين اللازمة لفرض اشد العقوبات القانونية بالجهات
    التي يثبت انها تتخابر لصالح جهات اجنبية.
    4- التحقق مع جميع القيادات والعناصر الامنية التي ترد شكاوى ضدها بارتكاب خروقات لحقوق الانسان وعدم منح الحصانة لاي منها ولاي مبرر كان.
    5- تفعيل دور مجالس المحافظات وفق الدستور وقانون مجالس اجهزة المحافظات بما يضمن تنفيذ قرارات تلك المجالس المتعلقة بالملف الامني.
    6- انشاء مراكز بحثية للاستفادة من المتقاعدين.
    7- ضبط وتعزيز الحدود بالاجهزة الحديثة بما يضمن السيطرة على الحدود.
    8- التشدد مع المتسللين عبر الحدود بصورة غير شرعية.
    9- تشكيل جهاز خاص بالطوارئ لمتابعة حالات الكوارث الوطنية وتقديم الحلول والمعالجات السريعة اللازمة للمناطق المتضررة.
    10- تعزيز دور وصلاحيات جهاز المخابرات الوطني وبناء كوادره بما يلزم متطلبات الامن الوطني للعراق ومكافحة التجسس ومتابعة النشاط الاستخباري
    الامني على الاراضي العراقية وسن القوانين الفعالة بهذا الشان.

    المحور الخامس/ ورقة الاصلاح القضائي
    1- عدم جواز الجمع بين رئاسة مجلس القضاء الاعلى ورئاسة المحكمة الاتحادية او محكمة التمييز.
    2- الاسراع باقرار قانون المحكمة الاتحادية والاتفاق على تسمية اعضائها.
    3- الاسراع بتشكيل قانون السلطة القضائية وفق الدستور وتفعيل وتطوير عمل جهاز الادعاء العام.
    4- الاسراع باقرار قانون مجلس القضاء الاعلى.
    5- حظر عمل القضاة خارج تشكيلات مجلس القضاء الاعلى
    6- مراجعة قانون الارهاب.

    التوازن في مؤسسات الدولة

    المحور السادس/ تحقيق التوازن الوطني في :
    أ – وكلاء الوزارات
    ب- السفراء
    ت – رؤساء الهيئات والمفوضية المستقلة.
    ث – في الوزارات الاحادية والمؤسسات العسكرية والامنية من درجة مدير عام فما فوق او ما يقابله (قيادات الفرق، ديوان الوزارات الخ….).
    2- يقر قانون هيئة التوازن في فترة لا تتجاوز الستة اشهر منذ بدء لجان البرلمان اعمالها وتؤسس الهيئة مباشرة بعد نفاذ القانون بتوافق الكتل.
    3- تعتمد الهيئة التوازن الدستوري وتضمن حقوق جميع الاقاليم والمحافظات في جميع مؤسسات الدولة بما في ذلك المؤسسات الامنية والعسكرية ولجميع المستويات
    4- تفعيل دور مجالس الوزارات والهيئات المستقلة ومنح صلاحيات مناسبة لوكلاء الوزارات ومعاوني رؤساء الهيئات المستقلة لتحقيق المشاركة.
    5- تفعيل الدستور والقوانين ذات العلاقة بالتعيين والتوظيف والاسراع في تأسيس (مجلس الخدمة الاتحادي) الذي نصت عليه المادة 107 من الدستور واقره
    مجلس النواب السابق في فصله الاخير.

    المحور السابع/ اصلاح عمل السلطة التنفيذية

    1- اعتماد مبدأ الكفاءة والمهنية وتحقيق التوازن الدستوري في الوظائف العامة طبقا لقانون مجلس الخدمة العامة.
    2- اعادة التوازن الدستوري الناتج عن تعيينات الفترة الماضية وضمان تمثيل المحافظات دستوريا (غير متفق عليها).
    3- ضمان المشاركة الحقيقية للاطراف المؤتلفة في الحكومة في صناعة القرار (السياسي، الامني، الاقتصادي).
    4- اقرار نظام داخلي متفق عليه ينظم عمل مجلس الوزراء ويحدد السياقات والصلاحيات للمجلس ولاعضائه.
    5- تنظيم المؤسسات الامنية غير المنصوص عليها في الدستور في الوزارات الامنية كل حسب اختصاصه وحسبما تسمح الظروف الامنية بذلك وبالتدرج
    6- ترتبط المبادرة التعليمية والزراعية بالوزارات المختصة ولا تتخذ اية مبادرة مستقبلا الا بقرار مجلس الوزراء.
    7- تفعيل الدور الاشرافي لمجلس الوزراء على الاداء الوزاري.
    8- تفعيل معالجة ظاهرة الفساد الاداري والمالي.
    9- الالتزام بوحدة الخطاب الحكومي الرسمي.
    10- منع الجمع بين المناصب التشريعية والتنفيذية.
    11- منع التدخل المباشر بأعمال الوزارات عبر الوكلاء والمستشارين والمدراء العامين لصالح اية جهة حزبية والتعامل مع الوزير بصيغة الرئيس
    الاعلى لوزارته.
    12- يلتزم رئيس مجلس الوزراء والوزراء كافة بقرارات مجلس الوزراء والقوانين النافذة باعتبارهم يمثلون الدولة في وزاراتهم وليسوا ممثلين لمكوناتهم او كتلهم السياسية ومن يخالف تتخذ الخطوات اللازمة لاقالته.
    13- يكون المفتش العام في الوزارة من غير كتلة الوزير.

    المحور الثامن/ التوافق الوطني
    1- في القضايا المصيرية مثل (الحرب والسلم، والاتفاقات الستراتيجية، والتعديلات الدستورية) يكون بالتوافق 100 بالمائة.
    2- في القضايا الستراتيجية والمهمة فيكون التصويت بنسبة اكثرية النصف زائد واحد.
    3- في القضايا الاجرائية اليومية يكون التصويت بنسبة نصف زائد واحد.

    المحور التاسع/ المساءلة والعدالة والمصالحة الوطنية
    1- تجميد قرارات الهيئة الحالية ما عدا تمشية الامور الروتينية.
    2- تشكيل هيئة المساءلة والعدالة وفقا للقانون.
    3- اعادة النظر بقانون المساءلة والعدالة من خلال اجراء التعديلات ويتم الاتفاق عليها لغرض عدم استخدام القانون بمعايير مزدوجة او لاغراض سياسية
    ويتم التعامل مع الملف وفق القانون.

  36. Reidar Visser said

    In a word, no. I posted some comments on Twitter. These are points of controversy from June 2011 relating to outstanding issues considered part of the Arbil agreement. But it is not exhaustive. I skimmed it and saw lots of legislation there but not the strategic council for example. My own theory is that these were items that were hastily signed off on by party leaders at Arbil (Sunayd, Jumayli etc).

    There is a second and far more limited document which Allawi, Barzani
    and Maliki have signed and which came to the fore in parliament in November 2010. It relates only to the intention to legislate the strategic policy council as well as de-Baathification of three Iraqiyya members. As far as I know, it’s the only triliteral agreement Maliki ever signed personally.

    To me this serves primarily as a reminder of the unwieldy and essentially unimplementable nature of the Arbil agreement. Look at that agenda! It will take at least two successive Iraqi parliaments to be able to agree on all that, and that’s an optimistic estimate. The points about consensus and balance, in particular, amount to rewriting the Iraqi constitution and should be passed with a special majority and submitted for popular approval in a referendum.

  37. Santana said

    Observer- I am by any means NOT calling for civil insurrection…I abhore violence and the use of force but I was just stating that the ground is fertile for this given what Maliki is doing. I always hope the scenarios you posted are more indicative of what might happen.You are closer to the action- I am in DC and it’s just my opinion on how things are proceeding.


  38. observer said

    there will not be a move to remove Maliki in parliament until there is agreement about who to replace him with. Doubt that there will be agreement soon as iran has managed to pull Sader out and back on the sidelines (yay they say in foggy bottom!!).

    Please stop accusing Allawi and Barazani to be extraconstitutional as it is quite normal for leaders to discuss and come to agreements in principals that they would then enforce withint their own blocks in parliament. I would like to see you point the finger at the CONCRETE unconstitutional ACTIONS of Mr. Maliki and company. What they are doing is outrageous and all you guys do is shrug your shoulders and focus on Hashimi, Mutleg, Allawi, Barazani as if Baghdad is not burning.

    Somebody late last night told me that Obama indicated that they will not deliver planes while Maliki is still in power? Not sure what that is based on except the time of the contract itself AND assuming that Maliki will not take a third term or a fourth for that matter.

    On the Irbil agreement, I can confirm that the document that I saw signed by Maliki, Allawi and Barazani contains three points, one of them is the strategic council. The other one is a long list of promised actions.

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