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 Iraq asks for Iran's Mediation in Tareq al-Hashemi's case

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Iraq asks for Iran's Mediation in Tareq al-Hashemi's case ‎ 3.1.2012 

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Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi speaks during a press conference in Erbil, the capital city of Kurdistan region, Iraq,  on December 20, 2011: Photo: Getty See Related Links
January 3, 2012

BAGHDAD/TEHRAN, — The Al-Iraqiya Alliance sent Iraq's Communication Minister Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi, who is a close relative of Alliance Leader Iyad Allawi, to Tehran to demand Iranian officials pick up a mediating role to help resolve the political crisis in Iraq as the gap is widening among rival Iraqi groups over the case of former Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, Iranian Fars News reported.

Tareq al-Hashemi is accused of involvement in several terrorist operations against Iraq's parliamentarians and has escaped to the Kurdistan region. The KRG officials have denied repeated demands by the Iraqi government, supreme court and police for the extradition of Hashemi to Baghdad.

Iraq's Arabic al-Nakhil news agency reported on Monday that the Iraqiya Alliance has sent Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi to Iran to ask the country start mediations between Hashemi's pros and foes.

The news agency further pointed out that Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq also intended to visit Iran to the same end, but has received a negative response from Iran.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki fired Mutlaq, who has intimate relations with Hashemi, only a day after Maliki accused Hashemi of masterminding terrorist operations against the country's officials. Parliament would have to approve the dismissal.

Member of the Islamic Al-Da'wah Party Seyed Mahmoud al-Miali told FNA last week that Hashemi's case has created discord and division among the Al-Iraqiya list, adding that while some believe the faction should support the accused vice-president, others disagree.

Hashemi is accused of masterminding the car bombing which took place on November 28 and injured a number of Iraqi parliamentarians.

According to the Iraqi government, evidence pointed at al-Hashemi's embroilment in the parliament blast incident after deriving confessions from four arrested Islamic Party members.

Iraq's Supreme Court has issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after it found the evidence against him as to be "genuine" and "substantiating".

Iran had earlier underlined that the case is an internal issue of Iraq and reiterated that it would not meddle with Hashemi's issue.

Iranian Envoy to Baghdad Hassan Danayifar rejected some foreign media reports that Iran has been asked by Iraqi officials to mediate in Hashemi's case.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes that Tariq al-Hashemi's charges ... should be investigated by Iraq's judicial authorities…," Danayifar added.

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