Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Former Iraqi Parliamentarian Says Obama to Meet With Ahmadinejad

February 3, 2013 12:59 pm 6 comments

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Photo: wiki commons.

Former Iraqi Parliamentarian Mithal al Alusi contacted me by phone last week to report that, according to “good sources,” U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to meet soon with Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Alusi, who served two terms in Iraq’s Parliament and has promoted normalized relations between Iraq and Israel, has frequently been prescient in alerting the West about developments in Iraq. Last April, he told this reporter that Iraqi politicians were participating in large scale money-laundering and smuggling  to help the Iranian regime skirt U.S.-led sanctions, a report which was confirmed several months later by The New York Times.

Alusi said the sources of the current information about Obama’s intended visit to Tehran are “good sources, not the same [that reported the collusion between elements in Iraq’s government and the Iranian regime] but the same level.”

“There is a plan for President Obama to visit Tehran,” Alusi said. “The new thing will be, ‘Iran will be contained'” or that the [Iranian] regime and Obama will shake hands” after Iran’s leaders promise to halt their efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, Alusi said.

In addition to saying this information came from high levels, Alusi offered his opinion on the matter.

“It looks like visiting Hitler,” said Alusi. “Is it true history is repeating itself? Is it true the superpower doesn’t understand the Mideast? Is it true [Obama] will shake hands with someone who … [says], ‘I will eliminate a country and a people?’ It is a crazy idea, to me.”

Nevertheless, Alusi believes Obama will soon travel to meet with Ahmadinejad and that the U.S. President sees the potential visit as an opportunity to bridge a diplomatic impasse “like Nixon as he visit[ed] China.”

Alusi shared his view that he would support diplomatic efforts in the Mideast, even with extremists, if he believed they could work – but he doesn’t believe they can, and the danger is that the extremists will buy time and gain strength.

“If this is such kind of situation we [who support] democratic peace, civility–we are in danger,” he said. “The Iranians are going to promise they won’t make a bomb. But [to themselves] they will say, ‘America is not serious.’

“The Iranian tactic is clear. I am an Oriental man; I understand this. They [will] say, ‘We will not have it.’ They [will] have the know-how, the stability in policy. They will work quietly. And one day they will surprise us.”

“Mr. Obama, don’t do something stupid.

“I will never trust terrorists and extremists, never.”

Alusi’s two sons, Jamal, 22, and Ayman, 30, were murdered by terrorists in February, 2005, apparently as “payback” for their father’s having visited Israel – a taboo in Iraqi society.

Shortly after the attack, Alusi told reporters, “I have always urged politicians to avoid trying to lead a dialogue with terrorists. Any kind of inviting murderers to dialogue means giving them a little bit of legitimacy, which they do not have. They do not have the right to play with us.”

Refusing to be intimidated after the murders, Alusi stayed in Iraq and continued to build the political party his fallen sons had helped him establish. In December, 2005, he was elected to Iraq’s Parliament, where he went on to serve two terms. He has visited Israel several times since and survived an assassination attempt last February.

In 2008, Iraq’s highest court upheld Alusi’s right to travel to Israel and ruled his fellow Parliamentarians, many of whom said they had voted under duress and threat of violence, had no right to strip him of his immunity or security protection for visiting the Jewish State.

Last week Alusi cautioned that, should Ahmadinejad give an assurance the regime will halt its nuclear program, “It doesn’t mean we are secure, just that they will push the problem down a couple of years.”

At the time of publication, the White House had not yet responded to The Algemeiner’s request for comment on the report.

UPDATE: A White House spokesperson denied the report in an email to The Algemeiner, saying, “There is no meeting scheduled between President Obama and President Ahmadinejad.”

The spokesperson also added details of American intentions in dealing with the Iranian threat:

“Our focus is working with our P5+1 partners to bring Iran back to the negotiating table.  The P5+1 has proposed concrete dates and venues ever since early December.  After these proposals were not agreed to by Iran, the P5+1’s latest proposal is the week of February 25 in Kazakhstan.  It is good to hear that Foreign Minister Salehi finally confirmed this date and location.  We hope the negotiating team will also confirm.  It is time for Iran to come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible so that we can start dealing with substance again and make concrete progress regarding the international community’s concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear program.”

6 Comments

  • If that is true then it is bad news for Israel and the whole civilized world. I’m surprised that a man like Obama doesn’t realize that if he is going to talk with Ahmadinejad he will forever be condemned like Chamberlain.

  • Obama needs to receive his marching orders

  • E Pluribus Beagle

    You assume Obama is merely naive or ignorant. I suggest he merely agrees with much of what Ahmadinejad has to say. After all even if the Hitler Chamberlain metaphor is correct – most of the leaders in Europe AGREED with what Hitler was saying so long as he didn’t mean to attack them. The UK was fine with Anschluss and the Sudentenland as long as he didn’t invade the UK. The French were happy to get kicked out of the Ruhr as long as he didn’t attack France. And so on and on. And in so far as the Jews were concerned, dear me, Hitler said out loud must most of them did AND STILL DO, say quietly amongst themselves.

    No I’m afraid that Second Term Obama doesn’t worry what happens as long as he gets what he wants. And since he’s overseeing the end of Pax Americana and end of America’s role in the world, who better to hand it off to than Iran, who he’s already handed most of the Mideast and West Asia to already.

  • It will be identical to Chaimberlain meeting Hitler…As Yogi said…Deja vu all over again

  • Harriet Hilecher

    Do not trust Ahmadinijad for one moment! He is a terrorist sworn to annihilate Israel. He has no other plan for the Jewish State. Obama does not understand the hatred of the muslim mentality against Israel!

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Mr. Barack Hussein Obama:
    One does not make peace with a terrorist! One does not trust a terrorist! One does not trust someone who repeatedly chants “Death to America!” One does not waste one’s time with an academic’s irrational, stupid pronouncement that the Holocaust never occurred. One does not respect one who compares the Holocaust to the predicament of the so-called Palestinians. Meeting with Ahmadinejad is like meeting with the world’s most infamous Holocaust denier. Have you not learned anything from the historical meeting between Chamberlain and Hitler? Or as the Commander-in-chief of the United States of America and the one who has yet to explain responsibly what happened to the four innocent massacred Americans, including the United States Ambassador to Libya, at Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, are you again irresponsibly going to meet with a man who regards you as the President of the Great Satan? Or are you equivocating again as in the image of you skeet shooting when at the same time you have been promoting more than a score of federal laws against the distribution of guns in the United States. Side-stepping the real issue with Iran and play acting with its inimical leader only perpetuates the image of the United States as a has-been, weak-kneed, cowardly, halting failure on the world stage.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Food Jewish Identity Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    Home of Freud and…Pita? Israelis Make Culinary Mark in Vienna

    JNS.org – Several Viennese Jews have made a lasting impact on the world. Sigmund Freud’s investigations changed the face of modern psychology. Composer Arnold Schoenberg’s innovations in atonal music changed the face of music. These days, even more Jews — in particular, Israeli Jews — are changing the face of Vienna’s culinary scene with innovations in…the art of the pita. Freudians may find a psychoanalytic motive for the local appeal of the Israeli eateries popping up in the Austrian capital. Walk […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    In Iraqi Kurdistan, a Genocide Before Our Very Eyes

    The two bullet casings are already beginning to rust. Sheikh Nasser Pasha plucks them from the ground. “Look, one is from an AK-47, one from an American M-4.” The casings are strewn on the ground atop a long mound of dirt with a few bits of white sticks on it. It would appear unremarkable if one were walking by it. A closer look, however, reveals the white objects are pieces of human bone: arms, legs, and a single human skull. […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    Israel and the Apartheid Narrative: 2 South African Student Leaders Weigh In

    JNS.org – About two-dozen people file into Dodd 175 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on a Thursday night, scouting out seats and picking at the kosher pizza in the back of the lecture hall. Miyelani Pinini knows the drill. A former student president of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, she’s attended and even organized her share of free-pizza events. But now she and a fellow South African student leader were the stars of this […]

    Read more →
  • Food Spirituality/Tradition The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    The Brewish State: Israel Taps Into Growing Craft Beer Bazaar

    JNS.org – It’s widely known that Israel has penetrated the wine market, with some of its sophisticated Israeli blends surpassing historically excellent wines from areas such as the Napa Valley or Bordeaux. But what about beer? For decades, Israel has offered solely the Maccabi and Nesher brands. Not anymore. “There is a huge push of people making beer at home. The country is approaching over 30 craft breweries in the last year or two, making nearly 200 beers,” says Avi Moskowitz, […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Natalie Portman Says She Behaved Like ‘Average Everyday Jewish Mother’ on Set of Latest Movie

    Actress Natalie Portman acted like a typical “Jewish mother” on the set of her latest movie, Jane Got a Gun, the Israeli-born star told the New York Post‘s Page Six on Sunday. The 34-year-old, who also co-produced the western, said she made it her job to look out for everyone involved in the project, because the film has had to overcome “so many obstacles,” such as losing its director early on. She explained: “Actors changed. We suffered financial and legal challenges. We endured so many replacements. There were delays. […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Music Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    Scorpions Lead Singer Sends Message to Israel Ahead of World Tour, Tel Aviv Performance (VIDEO)

    “We’re looking very much forward to coming back to Israel this summer,” said the lead singer of the German rock band Scorpions in a video on Monday. “Make sure you don’t miss it because we rock you like a hurricane!” said a jovial Klaus Meine, quoting the band’s seminal 1984 anthem, “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” The hard rock band lands in Israel for a show at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena on July 14 as part of its 50th anniversary tour. It will be the band’s third time […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    The Collected Works of Primo Levi, Edited by Ann Goldstein (REVIEW)

    Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel were the two most immediate and authentic literary voices who gave witness to the Holocaust. Wiesel was an extrovert and a very public figure who wrote initially in French. Levi was a modest retiring chemist who wrote in Italian. Whereas Wiesel was rooted in the Eastern European Jewish Hassidic world, Levi was the product of an assimilated, secular Italian society that saw itself as Italian first and Jewish as an accident of birth. As Levi himself said, “At Auschwitz I […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Lifestyle Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    Wine Brings Judea and Samaria to Tel Aviv

    JNS.org – Wine has long been considered a social lubricant, and it’s Nir Lavie’s hope that wine from his Har Bracha Winery in the Samarian hills will serve as a social lubricant between the city-goers of Tel Aviv and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, two locales split geographically, and often politically, on the left and right of the country. The new flagship store of Har Bracha has recently popped its corks on 190 Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, […]

    Read more →