Kurds refuse to back al-Maliki as his insistence on holding power and Iranian regime meddling fuel opposition

Negotiations between the Iraqi prime minister and leaders of the Iraqi Kurdish region have not produced any results in Iraq, while Nouri al-Maliki’s insistence on saving his post as the prime minister as well as the Iranian regime’s terrorist meddling have fueled increasing protests and anger among average Iraqis.

On Sunday, al-Sharqyia TV reported that al-Maliki failed to convince the President of Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani, to back his bid for a second term as prime minister.

Leaders of the Kurdish list told al-Maliki that they do not seek to declare a preference when it comes to candidates for the premiership.

The Kurdish refusal to back al-Maliki came even as the embattled prime minister vowed to implement Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, which calls for a referendum to determine the final status of oil-rich Kirkuk as either a province or part of the Iraqi Kurdistan.

Al-Maliki’s offer, however, did not succeed in eliciting Kurdish support as leaders there said Article 140 is an exclusively legal issue and is not a subject to political negotiations, according to al-Sharqiya TV.

There are also other reports from Iraq about growing dissent among Iraqis against al-Maliki and the Iranian regime’s meddling.
According to Azzaman daily on Sunday, a new poll taken by East Research Center shows that most Iraqis view the Iranian regime as the main obstacle against the formation of a new government in Iraq.

12,000 people from all of Iraq’s provinces participated in the poll.

A senior Iraqi security official was quoted by al-Sharqiya TV as saying that the regime’s terrorist Qods Force has increased arms and ammunition smuggling over the past two weeks through border crossings towards Basra, Wasit, Maysan and Diyala provinces.

The security official who spoke with the Iraqi TV station on the condition of anonymity, added that among the smuggled weapons and missiles there were Iranian-made weaponry like the Grad missile, guns equipped with silencers and large ammunitions shipments.

He added that the weapons and ammunitions are being stored in Baghdad and Basra.

The security official warned about the increase of arms smuggling from Iran, the entry of terrorist groups as well as bombings. He said the security situation is tied to Iraq’s current political atmosphere and the readiness of the Qods Force to carry out extensive operations to implement the Iranian regime’s agenda.

Nouri al-Maliki, the incumbent prime minister, is fully aware of the entry of arms and special groups into Iraq from Iran, the official added, but refrains from ordering armed forces to confront such activities, according to al-Sharqiya.

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