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Iraqi Vice President’s Interveiw With Ikhwanweb
Iraqi Vice President’s Interveiw With Ikhwanweb
The Iraqi situation represents one of the most volatile scenes around the world. After the end of the Gulf War II and the US occupation, all believed that matters would move towards calm.
Tuesday, May 2,2006 00:00
by Ikhwanweb IkhwanWeb

The Iraqi situation represents one of the most volatile scenes around the world. After the end of the Gulf War II and the US occupation, all believed that matters would move towards calm.

Yet, matters are getting worse while the U.S. led occupation is facing successive blows, and at the end, the only loser is the Iraqi people.

To clarify the Iraqi reality, Ikhwanweb interveiwed one of the persons influencing the Iraqi arena;Tareq Al Hashemi, Iraqi vice-president and head of the Iraqi Islamic Party.

Biography of Tarek Al Hashemi

-Born in Baghdad in 1945, where he completed his basic education and graduated from high school in 1959. Joined the military college, graduated at the rank of second lieutenant in 1962, then joined the shields brigade. During his service, he participated in several training courses outside Iraq; in England, Czechoslovakia and finally in India. He graduated in Command and Staff college in 1971 with an excellent degree.

-Worked as a staff officer in a number of positions, the last of which was in 1975 as a professor in Command and Staff College, then retired from the military at age 33. He then joined Baghdad University where he obtained MA degree in Economy getting in 1978. He never joined the Baath party throughout his life.

-Worked as a manager in the United Arab Navigation company- Iraqi branch from 1979-1981. An administrative order was issued to move him to the company general administration in Kuwait to hold the position of the general manager in the Middle East. He remained in this position till the Iraqi invasion in 1990, when he left Kuwait back to Iraq before Gulf War II.

-While he was in Kuwait, he studies for PhD in economy and through Plymouth University in 1988, but was unable to discuss his thesis after the British Embassy in Amman insisted to ban him from entry to UK when the Gulf War I began despite the university repeated calls in this respect .

Iraqi Islamic Party

Iraqi Islamic Party was founded in1960 upon a decision by Iraqi Court order, despite the objection of Abdel Karim Qasem’s government at that time. It was formed to confront injustice,  tyranny and blood shedding in such a terror atmosphere that prevailed at that period.

The party, once founded, faced several obstacles and consequently was dissolved. Its members resorted to calm work amid secrecy and in public. The party and its members were pursued for several years and were oppressed till the foundation of Baath Party in 1968. Some of its young leaders were killed while other leaders and members went out of Iraq and resumed activities in exile, faithfully maintaining the party principles and targets, defending the Iraqi and the nation issues on an international and official level. The main part of the party members remained inside, working with the available means within secret activities while facing pursuit, prison and killings in years ( 1971, 1981, 1986, 1996).

When the Baath party collapsed at the western foreign occupation, there was a great and sudden political and administrative gap, leading the party members to work in public.


*Mr. Tareq, when did you join the Iraqi Islamic Party ?

-I was close to the party since I was young, but ended this relation due to my military service. I joined the party again after retiring from the military in 1975, and continued working inside or outside Iraq. I was a member in the Planning Committee and the Party Shura Council before being elected as a party secretary-general in June, 2004. It was a suitable job for me, working silently away from the media and focus.

*It is said that the party faced a reshuffle and you personally led to ousting Dr. Mohsen Abdel Hameed from party leadership, how do you reply ?

Never. These are just allegations aimed to undermine me, brother Dr. Mohsen, and even the party itself. Dr. Mohsen fullfiled his mission, and when the political scene changed, it was necessary for the party to adopt to the new situation and deal with a new leadership. Change is something inevitable till end of life. The party, nowadays, prepares new leaderships to replace me and when they do so, I will happily go to the back seats.

Coup is not usual in the party, yet, consultation leads to the party unity and coherence .

*Is there a relation between Iraqi Islamic Party and Muslim Brotherhood?

The Iraqi Islamic Party has nothing to do with any party or a certain movement. Yet, there are many things in common between us and the Muslim Brotherhood. Still, we are fully independent in taking our own decisions which match our viewpoints and political principles in addition to the Iraqi conditions.

*Abu Mosab Al-Zarqawi attacked the new Iraqi government and Sunnis’ participation in the political process; considering it as a rescue for the Americans involved in the Iraqi crisis, what do you think of that ?

Initially, we are greatly at odds with Abu Msab Al-Zarqawi. Concerning his attack against the Sunnis for their participation in the political operation; this is his viewpoint and we disagree with him. We believe that there are several kinds of jihad, prophet Mohammed, peace be upon him, used weapons, politics and other means of jihad. We, in the Islamic Party, believe that the political process is the only means to end the Iraqi crisis.

*Does this mean that Sunnis in Iraq have no armed militias ?

The Sunnis have no armed militias and we depend only on the political peaceful jihad .

*There are accusations that you, by participating in the new government, back the US occupation?

We have a clear situation. We object to the occupation. Yet, we adopt the political course in resistance. I hold talks with occupation to achieve its withdrawal and not its support. The US administration is searching now for a solution for the Iraqi crisis. The armed resistance reached its final stages. We are now to build the country, and we are in need of organization and cooperation.

*How much is the Iraqi Sunni population in your estimates?

Sunnis are the majority if we add Kurds and Turkmen to them considered as Sunnis.

*In one of you statements, you criticized the Iranian role in Iraq, what exactly are your concerns about the extent of the Iranian involvement in Iraq ?

The Iranian role in Iraq is now certain. Iran recently admitted the matter and agreed to hold talks with US to discuss the Iraqi file. The crisis of Ibrahim Jaa’fari appointment is the best evidence; Iran strongly supported Jaa’fari and it pressured some of the political powers forcing them to elect him, yet, these pressures failed. Iran was involved in Iraq and was active in several fields.

*Are there any indications about an Iranian role in suicide bombings and killings in Iraq?

Some reports indicate an Iranian role in the killings. Media reports say that " Moqtada Al Sadr’s Al-Mahdi army and Badr Brigades of Abdel Aziz Al Hakim" receive orders from Iranian leaders and are not actually related to Abdel Aziz Al Hakim or Moqtada Al Sadr.

*Is there actually an ongoing civil war in Iraq as mentioned by Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak??

There is actually a sectarian strife and there are the so called death squads. However, Iraq will be on the verge of civil war if matters continue the same way. We, at the Islamic Party, with the participation of the Iraqi political powers, try to stop Iraqi blood shedding.

*what are your priorities as Iraqi Vice President?

We are currently facing several problems and the solution depend upon our success in the security file. We, in the Islamic Party, have a complete strategy to solve it and we will present it to the National Security Council Administration after being formed, in the wake of forming the Iraqi government led by Gawwad Al-Maliki.

*What are the most important features of this strategy?

The security situation problem should be solved on several dimensions ( security, politics, economy), and the most important points are :

· Disarming and dissolving the armed militias and include its members in the civil institutions.

· Reconsidering the armed forces and purifying it of the latest elements either in Defense or Interior Ministry. It also includes a reconstruction of the armed forces to match the national trend not a sectarian or party one.

·Stopping neighboring countries from interfering in the Iraqi internal affairs.

·Working on building unity among all Iraqi political powers

·Setting a timetable for the withdrawl of occupation forces

·Containing the national resistance in the peaceful political process as long as the occupation forces vow to withdraw.

·Setting an urgent program to tackle the economic and unemployment problems.

·Demanding help from the Arabic and western countries to help rebuild Iraq

*What is the share of the Iraqi Accord Front in the new  government

We agreed that the Iraqi Accord Front will have several posts including; vice president for the security affairs, minister of defense, minister of finance and we are negotiating on the position of the minister of foreign affairs, and we have candidates for the Education Ministry. We also agreed that the Interior Minister not to be a member in any party or a trend with armed militias.

tags: Iraqi / US occupation / U.S / Iraqi Islamic
Posted in Interviews , IkhwanWeb in Press  
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