News / Middle East

Iraqi PM Says Politics Behind Latest WikiLeaks Release

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (file photo)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (file photo)

There was a mixed reaction from Iraqi political leaders over the release of classified U.S. documents Friday on the Wikileaks website concerning U.S. behavior in Iraq.

Some Iraqi leaders reacted with anger and others with a shrug of the shoulders to the release of classified U.S. documents concerning the Iraq war.

Rival Sunni and Shi'ite political parties appeared to take opposing stances over the issue, using it as a new battleground in an ongoing political struggle.

In a statement read on Iraqi government TV, Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called the release of classified U.S. documents by Wikileaks "politically motivated," adding that they "raised a number of questions."

Several members of Mr. Maliki's State of Law coalition blasted the release, calling it a "recipe for fresh sectarian strife." Kemal al Saidi, from the prime minister's State of Law coalition, argued the Wikileaks documents target the prime minister "personally," and are meant to hinder formation of a new government:

He questions why these documents came out now, amid efforts to form the new government. He claims that this is part of a campaign against Mr. Maliki, against the government and against the political system. He adds that he doesn't believe the leaks will stir up violence because the Iraqi people know they are linked to the formation of the government and to Mr. Maliki personally.

Saidi also defended Mr. Maliki against allegations in the released documents that he was responsible for "torture and killing squads." "I don't know any government in the world," he insisted, "that doesn't protect itself against criminals, and we are proud of fighting criminals."

Iraqi Minister of Human Rights Wijdan Salim, who has investigated many charges of human rights abuse since she took the job in 2006, called the documents released "nothing surprising."

Mostly Sunni Iraqi opposition satellite channels blasted both the United States and Mr. Maliki's government for what many called "flagrant human rights abuses."

Commentators on Iran's Arabic-language al Alam TV blasted the document-release, claiming that it was a "massive U.S. plot." Several Wikileaks documents accuse Tehran of smuggling weapons and explosives into Iraq to cause strife.

"It is not possible," claimed one pro-Iranian commentator, "that the powerful U.S. government would allow such sensitive documents to be published." The U.S. government itself, he went on to allege, is responsible for releasing the documents.

One young Iraqi man claims that the U.S. is the big winner from the release of these documents.

He claims that the Americans are the only ones to profit from this matter. He says that Iraqis already know that people in the government were involved with militias or with foreign governments be they Iran or whomever. He says he believes that 80 to 85% of the information released is true, but that this was not the right time to release them because they will cause regional complications which will "soon be felt."

Allies of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, who is locked in a seven month old struggle with Prime Minister Maliki over which of the two will form the next government, played down the new Wikileaks documents.

Osama Njeify, of Mr. Allawi's Iraqiya bloc, called the documents "part of the truth that the Iraqi people are all too aware of…..and have lived through."

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs