Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed
Asharq Al-Awsat (U.K.)
The Iraqi prime minister has become Iran’s proxy, said Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed. First installed in an election during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki “has gradually turned into a complete dictator with complete authority.” He controls the intelligence and security apparatus and is the head of the central bank. As if that weren’t enough, he’s also the defense minister and finance minister. He uses this supreme power to perform all the tasks that Iran can’t, since it is “economically under siege” because of its nuclear program. Al-Maliki, for example, has taken over “complete financial funding and military involvement” in Syria, including sending fuel for the past two years and now even deploying 20,000 soldiers to the border. He also operates as Iran’s global banker, funneling Iranian bills to Hezbollah, Iran’s militia in Lebanon, as well as to Hamas in the Palestinian territories. On Iran’s behalf, he has even offered $3 billion in an interest-free loan to Egypt. In effect, al-Maliki has single-handedly “succeeded in lifting the economic blockade on Iran, enabling it to continue with its international military adventures.” And all this is at the expense of the Iraqi people, “who are still one of the poorest populations in the Arab world”—while al-Maliki’s personal wealth is heading toward a Saddam-like level of obscenity.
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