Iraq's fugitive Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has accused Iran of unlawfully using Iraqi airspace to transit weapons and ammunition to Syria.
"Iraq is being used as a corridor for Iranian weapons to reach Syria," he alleged in an interview with Turkish newspaper 'Today's Zaman' on Sunday.
Hashemi said although Iraq vowed to comply with the resolutions of the Arab League and that of the United Nations Security Council, the reality might be different. "The opponents in Syria have arrested many Iraqi officials with charges of smuggling weapons," he said adding that "I have no material evidence, but I have information about that."
Hashemi, a top Sunni politician of Iraq, termed as politically-motivated the arrest warrant issued against him by Iraq's Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on terror charges immediately after the American troops pulled out of the war-torn country.
He said he was seeking his rights in a legal way although he did not think that the courts in Baghdad would deliver just decisions. "I want the crisis to be surmounted as soon as possible, and get back to Baghdad," he added.
Hashemi, who is now under Turkey's protection, had talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Sunday. Heavily-armed security guards were assigned for his protection as the Iraqi government was seeking him over terror charges for allegedly running death squads against Shiite pilgrims, government officials and security forces.
Hashemi, who first went to Arbil, capital of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and reached Turkey after visiting Qatar and Saudi Arabia, had sought Turkish protection following threat to his life. He was taken under special protection by Turkey after he met with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish media reported.
by RTT Staff Writer
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