Iraq After The Leaked Audio Recordings


After the release of the first three parts of the leaked audio recordings of Nouri al-Maliki, everyone was waiting for Sadr’s reaction, but he directed his supporters to focus on organizing Friday prayers and not pay attention to the leaks since, “they do not give him a value”. However, after a few days, Sadr realized that Maliki could be surrounded by these recordings. So he announced a plan to fight Al-Maliki by a tweet on Twitter. Al-Sadr’s message was addressed to the Daawa Party and the Shiite parties, against whom the owners received complaints and insults in the form of dangerous advice and threats in the Maliki leaks. Sadr’s points are arranged systematically and cleverly at a time when Maliki is vying for the premiership position.

Some Serious Secrets

The initial recordings only contained personal attacks on Sadr, opening some files from the past (2008) and mentioning some names with terrible biography, but the fourth and fifth recordings revealed some dangerous secrets that surprise not only Al-Sadr but the entire Shiite community and other Iraqi parties as well. Al-Maliki did not conceal his intention to dispose of significant forces from his tribe to attack Muqtada al-Sadr in Najaf. In the leaked meeting with the leaders of several armed groups from the “Imam Al-Baqi’ and Ummah Al- Mukhtar”, they talk about “restoring dignity to the Shiite community”. It is also mentioned that the return of Maliki to office requires bloodshed and they mention an unknown reference named Mirza and say that Mirza has a fatwa ready to support them legislate this matter. Although al-Maliki does not speak much about this matter in the recordings, he does not deny it, and at the end of their conversation, he wishes them a good luck in this matter.

Calm Down Attempts

Some audio recordings are still being released and other audios are said to be released in the approaching days but the five short ones available have shaken all the general rules in the Shiite house and produced a situation where everyone can play the role of pacifier which they should do without going into the content of the accusations. Other than Najaf, There are several parties playing the role of mediation such as some influential Lebanese and some tribal heads. Al-Maliki’s plan to counter the recordings was to deny and claim that they were forged, but after a series of publications and evidence by Al-Sadr, Al-Maliki annulled this feeble defense. Al-Maliki is not only facing al-Sadr, but he is opposing several fronts, including Badr, who were accused by him of corruption and the Hashd, described them as “cowardly and unreliable” or accusing some of the Hashd leaders of being preoccupied with farms, houses, and cars, and describing Barzani and the Sunnis as “conspirators and hostiles for Shiites”. The only people that Al-Maliki described positively in the leaked audios were the Asa’ib General Secretary Qais al-Khazali and Abu Alaa Al-Walai, who describes them as “good men” because they are “facing Al-Sadr”. Maliki also told them that these two receive direct orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Post-Leak Records

In the short term, these recordings may decrease al-Maliki’s chances of becoming prime minister because his words seem like an aggressor in his heart and seek to devastate the state through the formation of bloody and dangerous groups. Moreover, Maliki will likely place his political and intellectual position into the unknown, especially after Al-Sadr called on him to surrender Maliki to the court or to retire him from political work and repent. Before the release of the audio recordings, the internal situation of the coordinating framework was not ideal because after al-Sadr left parliament, they no longer had an incentive to agree on the prime minister and the place of Hakim al-Zamli. When the recordings came, there was such a shock that all hopes were focused on preventing Shiite – Shiite clashes especially since the people of Muqtada al-Sadr are ideological, warm-hearted, and primarily saddened by the withdrawal of their list from Parliament.

Consequences of The Recordings

Perhaps the main title of the post-leak stage, regardless of the deepening of the dispute and hostility between Sadr and Maliki, is the ambiguity, mistrust, and hesitation in performing everything, whether between the Maliki front and the components or between the main Shiite parties whose secret dealings on positions have been exposed. The Daawa Party remains the political stronghold of Maliki. It refrained from assuming responsibility and offered various justifications to convince the Sadrists. On the other hand, Al-Sadr has no choice but to confront, so he is currently trying to take a stance toward the political and tribal siege of the Malikis. If Al-Sadr does not achieve what he aspires to, all paths will lead to tensions and conflict, but not necessarily comprehensive and limited long-term conflicts.

Some Other Facts

The recordings revealed the chaos in the security structure and Iraqi institutions and showed that within the deep state of the Hashd and armed groups there is a deeper state and they have a “Mufti” or reference ready to legislate a “fatwa” for bloodshed. The conflicting Shiite poles also reached a terrible stage of purification which calls into question all claims about the patriotism of the crowd. It also revealed a bitter truth: that is that the balance of power is based on money, weapons, and fatwas, not the constitution, law, settlement, and balance. To resolve the tension, all religious, clan, and foreign figures, The Coordination Framework leaders are trying to prevent a bloody Shiite war after the end of the sectarian war of their opponents (Sunni) and after fighting terrorism (Al-Qaeda and ISIS).

Worsening of The Government Crisis

After the recordings, al-Maliki’s allies in the coordinating framework became in an unenviable position, and now they have two options: condemn the protector of their alliance and their political mentor, or remain silent about al-Sadr’s request and continue to support al-Maliki until the end which results in more divisions within the Shiite powers. The formation of the new government and the budget at a time of unprecedented global inflation may be excluded, and therefore there will be a darkening of the future image of Iraq.

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