Tehran says sacking of Hashd al-Sha’abi chief is an Iraqi issue

September 1, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran says Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s decision to remove national security adviser and Hashd al-Sha’abi chief Falih Alfayyadh is an internal affair which Tehran does not meddle with.

It is an internal Iraqi issue and “we do not interfere in it,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said. 

"For us, as a neighbor, a safe, unified, and advanced Iraq has priority over everything else,” the diplomat told Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam television network.

Hashd al-Sha’abi is the Arabic name for the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) whose forces were key in defeating Daesh (ISIS).

Alfayyadh was removed from office on Friday, with Abadi’s office stating that the decision had been taken due to his involvement in "political and partisan work".  

The decision has largely been attributed to the country’s ongoing efforts to form a new government following parliamentary elections in May.

Senior cleric Muqtada Sadr’s Sairoon bloc came first in the polls, while the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri, and Prime Minister Abadi’s Nasr finished second and third.

Before Abadi’s decision, reports surfaced alleging that Alfayyadh was working with other heavyweight political groupings to establish the largest parliamentary bloc with expected influence in the make-up of the next government.

Abadi’s office said Alfayyadh’s alleged involvement in government formation talks would undermine the performance of the country’s security apparatus.

As an apparent answer to the prime minister’s move, a number of Nasr’s leaders have made Alfayyadh their candidate for premiership, according to various media reports.

SP/PA
 

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