Former Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki Iraqi speaking at a press conference in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Mehr News Agency
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Iraq’s former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has attacked the Kurdistan Region, Israel and Saudi Arabia at a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday, accusing them of land-grabbing, terrorism and danger to Middle East stability.
Speaking of French President Francois Hollande’s visit to Erbil and meeting with President Masoud Barzani on Monday, Maliki said: “Any span of Iraqi territory belongs to this country and the Kurdistan Region must retreat to the borders agreed on in the transitional government [of 2003] and all liberated areas must be dealt with constitutionally,”
Maliki and other Shiite leaders have called on the Kurds to pull out of areas retaken from ISIS by the Peshmerga which Kurdish leaders on their end call part and parcel of the Kurdistan Region.
The former Iraqi prime minister, who enjoys immense political and military influence in Iraq, said that Saudi Arabia was the main source of terrorism.
“I have said it time and again that Saudi is the source of terrorism as terrorism originates from that country,” Maliki said in the Tehran press conference. “Saudi cannot combat terrorist gangs when in fact the biggest one of them bin Laden came from that country.”
“Saudi will pay the price for its support of terrorism as it is already doing so in Yemen,” he warned.
Maliki of Iraq’s Dawa Party and head of the parliamentary State of Law Coalition said that his country was indebted to Iran for its support during the hard times especially with weapons supplies.
“We were suffering lack of weapons in fighting ISIS and Iran was the only country that supplied us with weapons when no other country did,” he revealed. “We were collecting arms from Iran immediately upon payment whereas other countries delayed the deliveries for months.”
Lastly, Maliki said Israel was a greater threat than terrorism in the region and that Iraq stood with Iran in the same trench to face off this threat.
“I tell you of the threat that surpasses terrorism which is the Zionist enemy and we should all stand on one front against this threat and Israeli political, cultural, economic and media plots,” Maliki said.