""The Iraqi Front for National Dialogue cannot continue in a political process run by a foreign agenda," party spokesman Haidar al-Mullah said in a statement, referring to Iran's alleged interference.
He said the party decided to pull out of the vote after U.S. Ambassador Christopher Hill and Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top American military commander in Iraq, each described the Shiite leaders of a candidate-vetting panel as having ties to Iran.
The vetting panel is led by Shiite politicians Ali al-Lami and Ahmed Chalabi. It banned more than 440 candidates whom it described as loyalists to Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath party.
Most of the blacklisted candidates are Sunni, although some are Shiite. Among those barred from running is Sunni lawmaker Saleh al-Mutlaq, the head of the National Dialogue party. Al-Mutlaq has said he quit the Baath party in the 1970s.
In a speech last week to the Institute for the Study of War in Washington, Odierno said the U.S. has direct intelligence that al-Lami and Chalabi "are clearly influenced by Iran." Odierno also accused al-Lami of having been "involved in various nefarious activities in Iraq for some time."" AP
Ahmad Chalabi was always Teheran's man. He was Teheran's man when the neocons thought he was their man. He is Teheran's man now.
This party that has decided not to contest the election next month is the meeting place of the more or less secular elements that were the backbone of the insurgent forces that fought us until a couple of years ago.
In addition to this party the Iraqi union of tribals (both Shia and Sunni) will also not participate. Iraqi tribes often have both Shia and Sunni sections. This is the result of migratory settlement of parts of tribes in the territory dominated by the different sects.
Ambassador Hill and General Odierno are understandably disappointed in this development.
What we are seeing is the inevitable reversion to type of Iraqi society. As has been said here many times, the creation of "Iraqi Man" was an eighty year long project that we interrupted in 2003. The "pressure cooker" of Iraqi state institutions; education, civil service, law, the military, etc. was slowly having its way in creating a "national" type.
We tilted the scales of history against that process and enabled a reversion to sectarian politics. So be it.
Will this stop the withdrawal of American forces? No. It will not. p