Iraqi President Barham Salih: We're at a crossroads, and we need to review the entire political system, and fair and free election has been demanded by the Iraqi popular movement, and Iraq will not be arena for regional and global conflicts to settle

2021/02/13

President Salih while delivering speech on Saturday, February 13, 2021, to remake the Martyr's Day, he said that Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim was one of the most prominent Iraqi politicians to have fought against the dictatorial regime, and he worked his comrade, together with Mam Jalal al-Talabani (May his soul rest in peace) to bring all Iraqi position together, to speak with one voice as well as and to consolidate the concept of national partnership in politics in Iraq. He recalled the martyrs of the Iraqi army including the martyrs of the Peshmerga and the Popular Mobilization Forces. He remembered the victims of tyranny in Halabja, the victims of Anfal campaigns, the genocide and the victims of terrorism.
The President emphasized that there is a need to make a serious review of the overall political process, and to undertake comprehensive reform. Therefore, there should be a new political contract that will ensure the correct political trajectory.
He added that Tremendous tasks and challenges are still ahead of us, and national entitlements remain to be done for our people. These included that optimal conditions for holding the country's next election must be created to ensure that it will be fair and free. So it will be the peaceful and constitutional path for the reform and political change. It enables the Iraqis to form a national State that is able to fulfil people's demands for having a free and dignified life and a fully sovereign State.
He said that the preparation for the next federal election is a requirement being demanded by the people's movement across the country. The mass movement involves a national debate on the foundations of the State, how to manage it as well as guaranteeing the rights of the people. The Government, the political forces and all the institutions concerned must not be complacent in achieving this under any justifications.
 He added the fact that we're at a crossroads. It is either to take a step back to the internal disputes and the infighting and to take the line with racism, ethno-nationalism and religion, or to keep moving forward toward achieving national projects, and achieve the progress towards building national state as well as strengthening its decision and its will. And so it can better enforce the law without any distinction or exception. The reform is not merely a slogan, but it is feeling, will, decision and action, he said.
 President Salih announced that we will not allow Iraq to be turned into a battleground for various political agendas that can seriously harm the Iraqi lives and their property.
  A stable, independent and sovereign Iraq is a factor for stability to the entire region. Therefore, regional stability and security are closely associated with Iraq's security, stability and sovereignty.
President Salih's speech follows:

In the name of Allah most gracious, most merciful

Never think of those martyred in the cause of Allah as dead. In fact, they are alive with their Lord, well provided for.
His Excellency, the Iraqi Prime Minister,
His Excellency, the Speaker of Iraqi Parliament,
 His Excellency, the Head of the Supreme Judicial Council,
His Eminence Sayyied Amar Al-Hakim,   
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon all of you.
We are here today to commemorate the annual anniversary of the martyrdom, a high level eminent personality and a distinguished and patriotic leader and a noble man, Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim who played a major role in ridding the Iraqis of tyranny, repression and genocide.
Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim was one of the most prominent Iraqi politicians to have fought against the dictatorial regime, and he was one of the most prominent to have consolidated the concept of national partnership in politics in Iraq. He was truly a mujahid as he was well versed in politics and science.
On the day of the Iraqi martyr, we remember the martyrs of Iraq. We remember the martyrs of Al-Sadr, the martyr Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr and the martyr Muhammad Sadiq Al-Sadr. We recall all martyrs of jihad who fought against tyranny, dictatorship, terrorism and extremism.
We also recall the martyrs of the Iraqi army including the martyrs of the Peshmerga and the Popular Mobilization Forces. We remember the victims of tyranny in Halabja, the victims of Anfal campaigns and the mass graves ay al-Mahawil district in the central and south of Iraq and the victims of terrorism. The sacrifices made by the Mujahideen against tyranny and terrorism in all the regions of Iraq are also can't be forgotten.
On a day like today, we can't forget the role played by His Eminence Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim, also known as Aziz al-Iraq and his great role in the years of struggle and jihad and the stages of the political process since its establishment is also can't be forgettable.
As we recall the martyr, Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr, also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab. I remember those difficult times when the Iraqis faced the dictatorship, which is seriously well-armed, and backed by East and West. It was the will of the martyr and his comrades, together with Mam Jalal (May his soul rest in peace) and other opposition leaders, who worked to close ranks, to speak with one voice as well as   galvanizing world support to accomplish the task of overthrowing the dictatorship.
I have the honor to know Shaheed al-Mehraab very closely, and to be familiar with his attitudes very well. He was eager to achieve national unity and respect for the pluralism and diversity of the Iraqi society. The Martyr worked toward building a new political system in Iraq.
Indeed, he was an example of jihad, altruism, giving and sacrifice, and we need to follow his path to achieve these concepts to be consolidated in our political, social and cultural work as well.
 The primitive and backward thinking groups who assassinated the eternal martyr, Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, aimed at removing these concepts and the noble ideals that he so valiantly fought and defend for. The Al-Hakim family has a proud history of protecting these values, and therefore its members including its religious scholars made ultimate sacrifices to defend the right of Iraqi people and its critical issues.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 Recalling our martyrs, it is a chance to review the political performance and be alert to follow the same political trajectory that has been charted and followed by the men who fought day and night in order to provide care for their own people, raise their standard of living and protect the sovereignty of their country.
Today we urgently need to recall and inculcate these values in political work. And to recall those tragedies that accompanied the establishment and construction of Iraq that is free from high-handed and arbitrary practices and lack of opinion.
 Certainly, we need a serious review of our overall political situation, and we need to address the dysfunction in the government, and different views on the concept and in political behavior should be settled. Therefore, there should be a new political contract that will ensure the correct political trajectory, in line with recent developments and the current circumstances, and that meets people's demands.
What Iraq is going through right now, and the radical shifts taking place in the region and the world, and the legitimate needs that have been demanded by our people, require all of us to come together, in order to safeguard Iraq and prevent the country from being dragged into a dangerous path and an unknown fate.
Tremendous tasks and challenges are still ahead of us, and national entitlements remain to be done for our people. These included that optimal conditions for holding the country's next election must be created to ensure that it will be fair and free. So it will be the peaceful and constitutional path for the reform and political change. And it will lead the country out of current political deadlock as it enables the Iraqis to form a government that is able to fulfil people's demands for having a free and dignified life and a fully sovereign State.
The preparation for the next federal election is a requirement being demanded by the people's movement across the country. The mass movement involves a national debate on the foundations of the State, how to manage it as well as guaranteeing the rights of the people. The Government, the political forces and all the institutions concerned must not be complacent in achieving this under any justifications.
Our task to accomplish these reform steps, primarily, holding the upcoming elections in right and appropriate conditions will preserve the voices of Iraqis and will ensure that the election will be free and fair and there could not be any electoral fraud, manipulation or pressure on voters.

The fact that we're at a crossroads. It is either to take step back to the internal disputes and the infighting and to take the lineup with the racism, ethno-nationalism and religious which would lead to the permanent break-up of our society, undermine our power and make us to be easy prey for those who are greedy for our country,
 Or keep moving forward toward achieving national projects, and achieve progress towards building a national state as well as strengthening its decision and its will.
 Based on my own position of responsibility, I call upon all political forces, all the activists, the community elites, our jealous clans and our brave young men to take responsibility for following serious national reform steps. To do this, there should be further positive dialogue, and the supreme interests of our country should have priority over any other considerations. There's no reform without will or real credibility. There is no grant without sacrifice or altruism.
The reform is not merely a slogan, but it is feeling, will, decision and action.
A comprehensive and structural reform is needed to be undertaken in Iraq.
Reforming all the State services and institutions, including in politics, economics, education and delivering services should be done.
That will not be achieved overnight, and further work is needed to scale up the successful experiences, and with keeping in mind that political disagreement and defaming the good reputation of others must have no room in our political climate.
To ensure that the reforms will go ahead, we have to stand shoulder to shoulder, and to have a conscious mind that knows more about Iraq circumstances.
 We have to be careful and to deal with such sensitive and decisive matters in a high sense of responsibility.  We will not allow Iraq to be turned into a battleground for various political agendas that can seriously harm the Iraqi lives and their property.
 As we said earlier, a stable, independent and sovereign Iraq can serve its people's interest in a better way, and it also can be a factor for stability to the entire region. Therefore, regional stability and security are closely associated with Iraq's security, stability and sovereignty.
 On this important day in the history of Iraq, the Day of the Iraqi Martyr, we affirm our unity and our aspiration for the desired structural reform. Let's confirm the Iraqis' unity, and our Iraqi people deserve to have a far better situation than they have today, and its leadership role in the region and the world have to be regained.
God save and protect Iraq and its people.
We ask the Almighty Allah for the eternal peace to our eternal martyr, Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim and to the two Martyrs of al- Sadr family (the martyr Muhammad Baqir Al-Sadr and the martyr Muhammad Sadiq Al-Sadr), and to the all the Martyrs of Iraq.
     Thank you.

 

Presedent