Tariq al-Hashemi: Maliki targeted me under orders from Soleimani

Hashemi was accused of being behind several terrorist attacks with members close to him admitting their guilt

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Former Iraqi vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, speculated that the reasons he was considered a target for other politicians and was accused of being behind a number of 2012 terror attacks in Iraq, was aimed to “weaken the Iraqi bloc.”

Speaking to Al Arabiya, Hashemi added that President Jalal Talabani had “refused to investigate me.” At the time, the president told the then prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki that “there is nothing in the case of Tariq al-Hashemi that could indict him.”

During his interview in the program ‘Political Memory’, Hashemi said that three members of his special protection squad “were tortured and killed, because they refused to make false confessions,” adding that “120 people from my protection personnel were detained, and some of them sentenced to death.”

Hashemi was accused of being behind several terrorist attacks with members close to him admitting their guilt. “The investigators coerced my protection squad into submitting false confessions,” he said.

“The Interpol dropped all the charges against me, after the investigations and inquiries they had requested from the government of Maliki,” Hashemi emphasized.

Hashemi recounted the beginning of the problem which broke out between him and Nouri al-Maliki, asserting that “Maliki asked me to leave Iraq in exchange of dropping all the charges against me and releasing my security personnel.”

He also requested that the deputies of Al Iraqiyya bloc end the boycott of parliamentary sessions, and that “I declare that Diyala has no right to become a county.”

Revealing that he left Iraq after “two formal invitations I received from Qatar and Turkey,” after all mediations failed, and especially after President Jalal Talabani, told him that “there is no hope in solving this issue, after his envoy returned from Tehran.”

As for why he was targeted, the former Iraqi Vice President said that deputy Muwaffaq al-Rubaie had asked Prime Minister al-Maliki, about the reasons behind the witch hunt of al-Hashemi, and the latter had answered him: “Ask commander Qassim Soleimani,” referring to the commander of the Quds Force.

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