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US uneasy as Iraq gets new prime minister

12 1 4
08.02.2020

In happier times, Washington and Tehran might well have zeroed in on Mohammed Tawfik Allawi as their consensus candidate for the post of Iraq’s prime minister.

Why not? He was opposed to Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship — although, unlike most Shia politicians who fled from Saddam’s tyranny, he never lived in Iran but chose UK.

However, unlike his famous (notorious) cousin Iyad Allawi who also lived in exile in the UK and whom the US handpicked to head the first government during its occupation (2004-2005), Mohammed Allawi didn’t work for the western intelligence.

The Iraqi protest movement bears striking similarity with Hong Kong’s, which too had brought the local government down on its knees

The Iraqi protest movement bears striking similarity with Hong Kong’s, which too had brought the local government down on its knees

Even detractors dare not say that he ever was on Tehran’s payroll. In fact, he wasn’t — unlike another famous relative Ahmed Chalabi.

Yet, although part of Iraqi Shia aristocracy, he was sensible enough as an aspiring Iraqi politician to have good rapport with Iran.

Mohammed Allawi is said to be deeply religious and yet is secular-minded. He twice resigned from former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s cabinet protesting against the latter’s “sectarian agenda and political interference”.

There is no conceivable reason why the US cannot be happy that Iran has failed at this crucial juncture in regional politics to insert an ‘yes man’ as the head of the new government in Baghdad.

Read more: Putin fine tuned Yeltsin’s Russia back into Powerful Soviet Union

But prioritising Iraq’s stability more than anything else, Tehran welcomed Mohammed Allawai’s appointment. On the contrary, even after five days since President Barham Salih gave him the appointment letter, Washington is holding back.........

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