Advisor to the Iraqi prime minister for national dialogue affairs, Hisham Daoud, has made highly controversial statements about the late commander of Iran’s Quds Force, General Qasem Soleimani, sparking the anger of Iran’s allies in Iraq.
This has forced Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to launch an investigation into the statements and suspended Daoud from office, government sources revealed.
Daoud, in an interview with BBC, said that the Iranian general “believed that he was not only coordinating with Iraq, but that he was responsible for a part of it, and therefore he would enter and exit the country whenever he wanted.”
“Soleimani used to feel his duties as an Iranian citizen even outside his country, and this responsibility overrides the responsibility of others. Therefore, the general assets of the Iraqi state were not among his priorities,” he added.
Member of the Parliamentary Security and Defense Committee Mahdi al-Amerli called for Daoud’s immediate dismissal and holding him accountable for his offensive statements against Soleimani.
Each of Muhammad Al-Ghabban, head of the Fatah parliamentary bloc, and Abdulamir al-Taeban, lawmaker in Al-Sadiqoun bloc (the political wing of Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq,), have also attacked Daoud for his statements.
Media outlets affiliated with Iran-aligned armed factions have threatened that Daoud will have a similar fate to Iraqi politician Mohamed Karbouli, whose TV station “Dijlah TV” was attacked and set ablaze by a mob of protesters in August last year.
Daoud, for his part, issued a clarification regarding his statements about Soleimani.
“The press interview was within the scope of a documentary film of a historical nature, and it took place more than two months before it was broadcast. I spoke in this film freely as a researcher and academic specializing in Iraqi affairs, and I did not speak in an official capacity,” he said.
“What was mentioned in my statements stems from me being a researcher. I have drawn my information from research I conducted in previous years, which is not necessarily governmental information,” he added.
The advisor went on to affirm “his commitment to the standards of the Iraqi national state, its official speech, and its constants, and that any confusion or misunderstanding on this issue was not intentional.”