Iraq won’t give in to threats: Maliki
Former Iraqi prime minister and current vice-president Nouri al-Maliki says Daesh has failed to conquer Iraq as more and more volunteer forces are joining the country’s drive against the terror group.
Maliki said Monday that the formation of the so-called al-Hashd al-Sha’bi groups at the height of Iraq’s fight against Takfiris in 2014 helped the country become invincible in the face of the threats.
The former premier made the remarks in a meeting in Tehran with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Maliki said the popular volunteer forces are capable of purging Iraq from Daesh, saying, however, that the presence of the Takfiri group in Iraq and Syria serves the interests of the enemies who seek to target the integrity of the two countries and pursue their plan for the disintegration of the Middle East.
He blamed the advance of Daesh in Iraq on Ba’athists and extremists, but said the group is not as powerful as it is made out to be.
Maliki also welcomed an ongoing plan for implementing comprehensive reforms in the Iraqi government, saying it could correct what he called the “flawed” political system of Iraq and its “problematic” constitution.
The Iranian official, for his part, said the Iraqi government has a popular base and everyone must abide by the constitution, adding that Baghdad has even allowed the opposition more freedom than is stipulated in the constitution over the past years.
Velayati voiced Tehran’s readiness for engaging in mediation efforts between various Iraqi factions, saying if such efforts could resolve the current disputes, the Islamic Republic will be there to help the Iraqis.