For the second day in a row, the political and popular debate in Iraq has raged over statements by Sajjad Salem, an independent representative in Parliament, about the street’s support for America if it seeks to overthrow the ruling political class in the country, accusing the forces of the “coordination framework” and Iran of interfering in the conflict. Local elections are managed for the benefit of political groups close to them.
Salem spoke about a variety of topics in a televised interview on a local Iraqi satellite station, including the call to participate in the upcoming local elections, which are scheduled for the end of this year, in order to “not allow others to dominate,” implying that “the absence of the Sadrist movement.” The governorate elections are an influential aspect because his presence makes our position (civilians) more comfortable, and that the Sadrist movement is better than the coordinating framework,” but he pointed out that “the Sadrist movement needed strategic patience.”
During the interview, he stated that “Iranian security services are the ones running the electoral coordination framework machines, and that there is an existing desire in society to change the political class,” emphasizing “standing with America if it seeks to overthrow this class,” and that “America saw that the coordination framework is the party “The Coordination Framework” gave great guarantees that no party had ever given to Washington, which deals with rampant weapordness.”
“Some politicians in the coordination framework go to the American embassy and meet with the US ambassador,” he said, “and the coordination framework has become one of the leaders of the embassy.”
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Following these statements, media platforms known locally as “loyalists” launched a campaign against Representative Salem, accusing him of working for the US, and received backing from politicians and representatives who support the forces of the “coordination framework,” which is the umbrella organization for the country’s religious parties and representatives of the armed factions in the current Iraqi government, while it launched the hashtag “
Hussein Al-Safi, an Iraqi journalist, replied on the “X” platform, stating, “Of course, if you were a real Iraqi, you would not say this,” attaching a picture of Sajjad Salem’s message.
“What Sajjad Salem did is considered a violation of the constitutional oath that he swore under the dome of Parliament, and is punishable by death on charges of high treason,” Muhammad Al-Basri, known for his closeness to the armed factions loyal to Iran in Iraq, wrote on the “X” platform. Lawyers are required to launch a case against him. Suit for perjury and accept your rightful penalty.”
According to Issam Hussein, a political activist close to the “Sadrist Movement,” Sajjad Salem stated that we have close relations with the American and British sides, and he justified this by stating that the framework has the same relations with them, and this statement alone causes the framework to be concerned about the fate of its relationship with the American side. And the prospect of continuous support for their government, suggesting that the framework regards any interaction with the American side that is away from them as a serious threat to their survival. “They believed that Representative Sajjad Salem had a genuine political project to remove them from power, and that civilians were a political project that could succeed,” he continued.
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Following the uproar caused by the media funded by religious parties and armed factions, MP Sajjad Salem commented, saying, “Okay, if the interview is on television, why don’t they release a clip of it that supports the validity of their words!” He was referring to the misunderstanding of his comment by those who oppose him.
However, Ahmed Al-Naimi, an Iraqi political affairs expert, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Salem’s words were made to remind the present political class that it comes on the back of the occupation and has no legitimacy with the populace. “Neither the parties nor the parliamentary blocs can hold the representative accountable,” he said, “because they carried out this scenario on the ground by supporting the Americans to overthrow the previous regime, so how will they hold him accountable for the same matter?”
It is worth noting that Sajjad Salem is an Iraqi activist who took part in the popular uprisings that erupted in October 2019. He is a member of the Iraqi Communist Party in Wasit Governorate, near the Iranian border. He has a law master’s degree. He is well-known for his resistance to pro-Iranian militias, and his office in Wasit has been exposed to violent attacks on many occasions in the last two years.