What is happening in Syria will inspire change in Iraq: fugitive VP Hashimi

Tarek al-Hashimi is currently living in Turkey. (Al Arabiya)

Iraqi fugitive Vice President Tarek al-Hashimi declared his support for the Syrian revolution and the Syrian people’s demand for freedom and dignity.

“I believe that what is happening in Syria will also inspire change in Iraq,” he told Al Arabiya’s Noqtat Nezam (Point of Order) weekly program on Friday.

Regarding Iranian support for the Syrian regime, Hashimi, recently sentenced to death by a Baghdad court on terrorist charges, said that it is now known that Iranian planes use Iraqi airspace to carry aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and that is why the ground route is now used more frequently.

“Now Iranian vehicles, carrying aid to the Syrian regime, use the road between Zerbatia and Karbala and pass through al-Walid border crossing without being searched. I verified this information from the U.S. administration and my own sources.”

Hashimi, who is currently residing in Turkey, added that the Iranian aid transferred via ground transportation is much bigger than that carried by planes.

Hashimi scoffed at statements made by the Iraqi government about searching Iranian planes crossing to Syria via Iraq.

“This is a charade. They agreed that Iraq would only search planes carrying medicine and humanitarian aid and let the other ones carrying weapons pass.”

Hashimi accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of persecuting Sunni Iraqis.

“Around 90% of prison inmates are Sunnis.”

Maliki, he added, is jeopardizing Iraq’s future and stability because the Iraqi people are expected to rise anytime.

“They will not stand his corruption and repressive policies for long. There are millions of frustrated Iraqis who are willing to rise and bring about change.”

When asked whether a rapprochement between him and Maliki is possible, Hashimi replied in the negative.

“Our political ‘divorce’ is irreversible. I will never be able to make the same mistake again and repeat what I had gone through since 2006. It was a total failure.”

Hashimi called upon different Iraqi factions to unite against Maliki and work on withdrawing confidence from him.

“Maliki is hindering Iraq from reaching stability and security and he has put the country in danger several times. It is for Iraq’s best interest that he steps down,” he concluded.

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