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Policy Alert

Iraq Closes Offices of Two Political Parties

Michael Knights

Also available in العربية

March 7, 2011


On March 6, Iraqi soldiers acting on the orders of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shut down the Baghdad offices of two Iraqi political parties.

On March 6, Iraqi soldiers acting on the orders of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shut down the offices of the Iraqi Nation Party in Baghdad. The party, which does not have any representation in the current parliament, is led by Mithal al-Alusi, who served as a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2010.

The party had supported the "day of rage" in Baghdad and other cities on February 25. It is a liberal, secular, and democratic political group that advocates a long-term strategic relationship between Iraq and the United States.

After the offices were closed down, al-Alusi, who served in parliament from 2005 to 2010, commented: "We are not corrupt. We do not work to the orders of Iran and others. Our votes are clean and based on elections. We do not steal from the Iraqi public. We do not take advantage of our position. We support the values of democracy. We will keep supporting people's right to demonstrate. Closing down our office will not stop our support of the protests and the protesters."

The offices of the Iraqi Communist Party, another supporter of the day of rage, were also ordered to be shut.

Michael Knights is a Lafer fellow in The Washington Institute's Military and Security Studies Program.