Adel Abdul-Mahdi

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Prime Minister of Iraq

Quotes

“Victory is the most dangerous moment. There will be some people trying to push for extreme measures. If we start with such behavior, we will lose the country.”

“The nation should elect its representatives. Because the nation is not just the religious people but all the citizens.”

“All the [Iraqi] people should be cautious. They should keep criticizing. I am not asking people to stop criticizing, to trust blindly.”

“They [Iranian officials] have to be more open.”


You are Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Prime Minister of Iraq


Early Years and Education

You are Adel Abdul-Mahdi. Not much is known about your childhood and early life, either because you wish that information to remain unknown or because researchers and reporters have not deemed it central to your political ideologies. What is known is that you were born as Adel Abdul-Mahdi al-Muntafiki in 1942 in Baghdad, Iraq and are 75 or 76 years old. You are the son of a well-renowned Shiite preacher, who was a minister in the Iraqi monarchy. You received your high school education at Baghdad College, a prestigious American Jesuit institution. Later, you studied economics.

Public Life

Your public life took off in 1969, when you were exiled from Iraq and moved to France to work for French intellectuals and to edit newspapers written in Arabic and France. This is when you adopted communist ideologies, and you joined the Iraqi Communist Party while still in exile in France. You then joined the ICP-Central Leadership when the original party split in two, though you later rejected your communist beliefs and adopted Iranian Islamic beliefs, which were outlined by Ayatollah Khomeini and strongly anti-liberal. Iran rejected the idea of secular Western-liberal ideologies in favor of an Islamic-based state with Shia-Islam legislation (as 95% of the population is Shia), an idea which appealed to you, given your religious devotion. After Iran formed a group in Tehran in 1982 for Iraqi exiles, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, you were made a member. From June 2, 2004 to April 6, 2006, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, you served as the Iraqi Minister of Finance. You also served as the Vice President of Iraq from April 7, 2005 to July 11, 2011. In 2006, you attempted to run for prime minister for the United Iraqi Alliance’s nomination under the provisional government, but you lost by one vote to Ibrahim al-Jaafari. You also lost to Nouri al-Maliki for the UIA nomination in a later election. On February 26, 2007, you survived a third assassination attempt that killed ten people. However, you continued to serve as the Vice President of Iraq until you resigned on May 31, 2011. This resignation could have been related to a violent bank robbery in Baghdad in 2009, which was discovered to have been led by your bodyguards. However, you were never implicated in these crimes, whether for being directly involved or for possessing prior knowledge. You also announced plans in July 2013 to give up your retirement pension from your former vice president position, possibly because you decided to re-enter into politics. You ended your retirement in 2014 and served as the Iraqi Minister of Oil from September 8, 2014 to July 19, 2016. On October 2, 2018, you were chosen by Iraqi President Barham Salih to be the Prime Minister of Iraq after an inconclusive presidential vote in May 2018. You then had 30 days to create a new government. You and Mr. Salih were faced with a ruined economy, poor ethnic relations after a four-year war with ISIS, and tensions between Iran and the United States.

Your Political Beliefs

You began your public life in the 1960s as a critic of the Iraqi government and Saddam Hussein, which caused your exile to France until Hussein’s overthrow. In France you adopted Marxist economic and political views and joined the Iraqi Communist Party from there. By the late 1970s/ early 1980s, you had begun to blend communist and Islamic ideologies before completely rejecting communism altogether and supporting Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini and his anti-liberal beliefs. You became a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq in the early 1980s, hoping to end Saddam Hussein and his government’s leadership and to return Iraq to its Islamic roots. After the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 and continued to occupy Iraq and dictate its political and economic structures, you developed a dislike for the American government and military, though not for American businesses, citizens, or the country itself. After the Americans began to back out of Iran in the early 2010s, your dislike began to subside, and you now seem to be more open to working with the American government in the new one that you created with President Salih. Your willingness to collaborate with the United States, Iran and the various Iraqi ethnic groups, as well as your peaceful and middle-of-the road political ideologies, seems to have endeared you to these groups, who have high hopes for your success as prime minister. In terms of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, you have not officially come out with any opinions, but as you seem to value peace (especially in the Middle East) and human rights, you would likely support a solution that benefits both Israelis and Palestinians.

Playing Adel Abdul-Mahdi

You value peace and cooperation, as well as the good of Iraq, above all else. Since you are politically independent, you do not throw support to one political party or another, which allows you to concern yourself with national and international affairs. You are most focused on reconstructing Iraq, especially its crumbling economy and the tense relations between ethnic groups. You also hope to ease tensions between Iran and America. Your centrist and peaceful political ideologies give you a wide array of options for allies among Iran, America, and countries and coalitions who desire peace in the Middle East and in Israel/ Palestine. You will likely be one of the leading spokespeople for Iraq for peace and justice in the Middle East.



References

“Adil Abdul-Mahdi.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Oct. 2018, <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adil_Abdul-Mahdi>

Filkins, Dexter. “Shiite Offers Secular Vision of Iraq Future.” The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 10 Feb. 2005, <https://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/10/world/middleeast/shiite-offers-secular-vision-of- iraq-future.html>

Taylor, Guy. “Iraq Makes 'Great Progress' in Selecting Compromise Candidates for President, Prime Minister.” The Washington Times, The Washington Times, LLC., 3 Oct. 2018, < https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/3/barham-salih-named-iraq-president-adel-abdul-mahdi/>.

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