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Mar 11, 2015
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Iraqi VP Ayad Allawi Lashes Out against U.S., Iran for Taking Credit for Military Victories against ISIS

#4829 | 05:26
Source: Al-Arabiya Network (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

In a TV interview, Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi criticized both Iran and the U.S. for trying to take credit for military victories against ISIS. Calling upon the coalition to close ranks, Allawi said that it must cease its "dithering policy," show respect for the Iraqi and Syrian peoples, and "build a political environment that will prevent the rise of extremism from its midst."

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on March 11, 2015.

Interviewer: What is your comment on the news coming from Tikrit? We have just listened to the [report] together.

Ayad Allawi: To tell you the truth, we are trying to win a war, not just a battle or two. Winning the war on ISIS requires both military and political victories, which must be lasting.


I am talking about the strategy of the war, and about Iraq's need to win the war against ISIS. This victory is still not within reach. The war will continue for a long time. Unfortunately, political sectarianism has seized control of the Iraqi political scene.


According to [Iran's Special Assistant to the President] Ali Younesi, and Secrecy of the Supreme National Security Council [Ali Shamkhani], Baghdad, Erbil, and Damascus would have fallen if not for Iran. Younesi even said that Baghdad and Iraq have become part of the Persian empire. This makes you laugh and cry at the same time. It indicates the level of stupidity and impudence of some of these people, who talk this way at a time when the fighting intensifies, and the heroic Iraqis are willingly sacrificing their lives in the cause of national liberation. They say these things as a mere provocation. They know full well that neither Iran nor anyone else can devour Iraq.


I call upon the Iraqi government, our executive authority, to demand that some Iranian commanders leave the frontlines. If they are really advisors, they can give their advice from Baghdad.


The Iraqis are the majority [on the frontline]. The Iraqis have the real interest in defeating ISIS – not the foreigners, with all due respect to anyone trying to help Iraq.


At the same time, we hear the U.S. saying that it was the U.S. airforce that defended… We are grateful to both Iran and the U.S., and to all the countries that help confront extremism, but they must show respect and appreciation to the Iraqi people, to their steadfastness, and to the sacrifice they made and the blood that they shed, instead of the mockery and the derision that we encounter from some countries, including Iran, when it says that Baghdad is now part of the Persian empire.

[Younesi] must be dreaming. That man should be removed from office in Iran.

Interviewer: Why did General Dempsey speak, from Baghdad, about a thread to the international coalition against ISIS?

Ayad Allawi: I know General Dempsey from the days when he was in Baghdad to assist General Casey. He was responsible for Baghdad in the days of the [Gulf War II] coalition. He is not politically sophisticated, really. Perhaps he is an accomplished soldier, but he is not politically sophisticated. When he went to visit the Gulf states – he was in Saudi Arabia and other countries, as you know – he heard things that were not good. Let me just quote my dear brothers Saud Al-Faisal, who said that Iran has gained control over Iraqi policy. The relations between members of the international coalition are tense. There are clear tensions between Europe and the U.S., and there are clear tensions in the region regarding Iran.


We call upon the coalition to close ranks, and to show respect to the Iraqi and Syrian peoples, who have been fighting heroically against the forces of extremism, represented by ISIS. If the coalition continues with this dithering policy, it will cease to exist.


The coalition must delineate a clear policy, and name the extremism for whose annihilation a coalition was formed. The coalition must also build a political environment that will prevent the rise of extremism from its midst. This is what the coalition members should concentrate on. In my repeated talks with some of these countries, I still do not detect a genuine understanding of what should be done. They focus on the military aspect, ignoring the political aspect, but if we win militarily, but lose politically, it will be, God forbid, a colossal defeat.


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