Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – The political conflict in Baghdad over the formation of Iraq’s next government has reached a stage of “open” death threats, according to Iraqiya spokesman Haidar al-Mulla who claims to have received a personal death threat from the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.
Al-Mulla told Asharq Al-Awsat that he received a telephone call from a senior member of Nouri al Maliki’s Dawa party at 10pm in which he was asked about the reason behind the intensity of the statements and comments issued by the Iraqiya bloc towards the comments made by al Maliki with regards to internationalizing the election issue, and that the comments made by al Maliki were not directed at the Iraqiya bloc, but rather at the Sadrist trend and the National Iraqi Alliance. Al-Mulla said that the senior Dawa party member asked him, “Why is there this tension from you?”
Al-Mulla went on to say that approximately one hour after this telephone call, an official from al Maliki’s office who is known to him and who he has spoken to him on the phone a number of times before telephoned him, swore at him and insulted him. Al-Mulla said that this official told him, “This is Nouri al Maliki’s message to you; we will cut off your head and your feet if you come to Iraq.” Al-Mulla was outside of Iraq at the time of the phone call. Al-Mulla told Asharq Al-Awsat that he informed the official that he will be returning to Iraq next week, and that the official can do what he wants.
Al-Mulla confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that he recorded this telephone call, which he received during an Iraqiya bloc meeting, and that a number of senior Iraqiya bloc members were in attendance. He said that he intends to submit the recording to the Iraqi judiciary and take al-Maliki to court. Asharq Al-Awsat attempted to obtain a comment from the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, but did not receive a response by the time this article went to press.
Iraqiya bloc spokesman Maysoon al-Damluji yesterday confirmed that “in a dangerous development…Iraqiya bloc spokesman Mr. Haidar al-Mulla received a telephone call from the office of the outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister, in which he received an explicit death threat in the name of the Iraqi Prime Minister. This comes after al-Mulla had accused the outgoing Prime Minister of attempting to internationalize the Iraqi issue and that ‘al-Maliki’s return to Iraq was due to internationalization [issue] and the US war to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime.’”
In its statement, the Iraqiya bloc placed the full legal responsibility on the outgoing government and the office of the Prime Minister should anything happen to Haidar al-Mulla or his family.