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Twitter Spat between Sadr, Khazali Undermines Ameri’s Initiative to End Iraq Impasse

Twitter Spat between Sadr, Khazali Undermines Ameri’s Initiative to End Iraq Impasse

Tuesday, 16 August, 2022 - 05:45
Supporters of Iraq's Coordination Framework gather during a sit-in on a bridge leading to the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone on August 15, 2022. (AFP)

Iraq’s Sadrist movement, led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, and the Coordination Framework’s Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, led by Qais Khazali, traded accusations on Monday over who was to blame for the country’s political deadlock and problems.

In a series of tweets, Sadrist official, Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi, known as “Sadr’s minister”, rejected Khazali’s claims that his movement was responsible for the impasse.

He acknowledged that the Sadrists were part of past governments, “and we assume responsibility for this”.

He added, however, that while the Sadrists were in power, they were part of a political process to engage with others, including Khazali’s Sadiqoun bloc.

“But such efforts were futile because you insist on your corruption,” said Iraqi.

He continued: “We resisted the occupier, which is one of the main reasons for your corruption.”

He then went on to list a series of disputes that pitted the Sadrists against the Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, signifying that their relationship had reached a breaking point.

Head of the Sadiqoun bloc, Adnan Faihan dismissed al-Iraqi's allegations in a series of his own tweets.

“We don’t need to make any clarifications because the evidence speaks for itself,” he said.

He cited an expression that says that “once an opponent reaches the point of defaming you, then know that you have exhausted and hurt them.”

The heated dispute between the Sadrists and Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq undermines an initiative by Hadi al-Ameri, leader of the al-Fatah alliance and another member of the pro-Iran Framework, to hold a comprehensive national dialogue between Baghdad, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

Sadr has rejected holding dialogue with all parties, but observers believe that Ameri could change his position given his balanced ties with the influential cleric.

Ameri is leading the dialogue initiative that was proposed last week by caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and that has been well received by the majority of political forces.

Political forces believe Ameri may be successful in breaking the current deadlock by kicking off serious dialogue with the concerned parties.

The series of tweets between the Sadrists and Khazali may, however, be a hurdle he needs to overcome.

Ameri is set to meet with Sadr in Najaf city to present his proposals.

The Sadrists will then meet to assess his suggestion and respond to it within 24 hours.

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