Ibrahim al-Jaafari

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Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari
إبراهيم الأشيقر الجعفري
Ibrahim al-Jaafari.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 September 2014
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi
Preceded by Hussain al-Shahristani
Prime Minister of Iraq
In office
3 May 2005 – 20 May 2006
President Jalal Talabani
Deputy
Preceded by Ayad Allawi
Succeeded by Nouri al-Maliki
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
In office
1 August 2003 – 31 August 2003
Preceded by Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum (Acting)
Succeeded by Ahmed Chalabi
Personal details
Born (1947-03-25) 25 March 1947 (age 67)
Al Hindiyah, Iraq
Political party National Iraqi Alliance
National Reform Trend
Alma mater University of Mosul
Profession Physician
Religion Shia Islam

Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (Arabic: إبراهيم الأشيقر الجعفري‎; born 25 March 1947) is an Iraqi politician who was Prime Minister of Iraq in the Iraqi Transitional Government from 2005 to 2006, following the January 2005 election. He is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He was one of the two Vice Presidents of Iraq under the Iraqi Interim Government from 2004 to 2005, and he was the main spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party. He withdrew his nomination for premiership for the permanent government because he disagreed with some of the Kurdish leaders with regards to securing Kirkuk as part of Iraq. Some members of his own group, the United Iraqi Alliance, conspired with some of the Kurdish personalities and some of the sectarian Sunni politicians and in turn these groups involved the US President George W. Bush and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair to convince al-Jafari to withdraw his nomination. Al-Jafari refused any foreign interference in the Iraqi politics and instead gave the United Iraqi Alliance the choice to decide whom they wanted, be it him or another political figure as Prime Minister.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born Ibrahim al-Eshaiker (إبراهيم الأشيقر) in Karbala on 25 March 1947.[1] He hails from a family that claims direct descent from Muhammad. His great grandfather, Mahdi bin Ali bin Baqir al-Eshaiker, led the al-Eshaiker revolt in Karbala in 1876 against the Ottoman Empire. The Al-Eshaiker family originated from the city of al-Eshaiker in what is now Saudi Arabia. Jaafari was educated at Mosul university as a medical doctor.[2]

Member of Council of Representatives[edit]

He joined the Islamic Dawa Party in 1968. Upon graduation from school in 1974 he worked actively for the party in Iraq which was trying to overthrow the Ba'athist secular government. He left for Iran in 1980 and became involved in the movement against Saddam Hussein there as part of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq where he represented the Islamic Dawa Party. He adopted the name al-Jaafari in exile to protect his family in Iraq from retribution by Saddam. He moved to London in 1989 where he became the al-Dawa spokesman in the UK and an important participant in the wider anti-Saddam movement. While in the UK he attended many Iraqi Events giving religious sermons.[2]

Iraq War and the fall of Saddam Hussein[edit]

Jaafari with U.S. President George W. Bush, 24 June 2005

He opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq but returned to Iraq soon after.[3] He was picked in July 2003 as member of the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council, and served as its first chairman and Iraq's first post-Saddam interim President for one month. On 1 June 2004, he was selected to be one of the two vice-presidents in the Iraqi Interim Government.[2]

He brought al-Dawa into the United Iraqi Alliance coalition of Shi'ite parties and was second on the party's list after SCIRI leader Abdel-Aziz Hakim.[2]

Elections[edit]

January 2005 elections[edit]

Following the January 2005 Iraqi elections the strength of the UIA in the parliament made him a likely candidate to become the nation's new Prime Minister. Only Ahmed Chalabi challenged him for the position. Chalabi later dropped out of the race, being less than a favourite for a majority of the parties in the UIA, partly tainted by several scandals, thus leaving al-Jaafari unchallenged to become the alliance's candidate for the post. He was designated as Prime Minister on 7 April 2005, following the election of a Presidency Council the day before.[4] After a long period of negotiations aimed at establishing a broad-based government, he and his cabinet were finally approved by the National Assembly of Iraq on 28 April.[5]

December 2005 elections[edit]

Further information: Government of Iraq from 2006

In the national election of December 2005, the UIA once again won the majority of the votes, which according the new Iraqi constitution, gets to pick the Prime Minister. UIA members voted for the Prime Minister with only two main candidates. Al-Jaafari was one and the SCIRI member Adel Abdul Mahdi, a secular economist. Jaafari won the vote only by one (64 - 63). His win was credited to the support of Muqtada Al Sadr's members of UIA, who all voted for him.[6]

Despite this win, however, he became increasingly associated with the failure to end the violence in Iraq and to improve services. Because of this, the Sunni, Kurdish and secular groups in the parliament refused to agree to him continuing as Prime Minister, leading to deadlock. His refusal to stand down began to alienate even those who had backed him up to that point, but it is believed that only when Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani intervened that he finally stepped down.[7] The US government had expressed dissatisfaction with him in two months earlier, with George W. Bush stating that he "doesn't want, doesn't support, doesn't accept" his retention as Prime Minister.[8]

He was succeeded by al-Maliki as Dawa Party secretary-general in May 2007.[9]

National Reform[edit]

In May 2008, al-Jaafari launched a new political party called the National Reform Trend.[10] He was formally expelled from the Dawa party as a consequence, and his new party was widely seen as a vehicle for an attempt at regaining power.[11]

Appointment as Foreign Minister[edit]

al-Jaafari meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Baghdad

He was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs by newly-elect Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on 8 September 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Al Jaafari has 5 children (3 girls and 2 boys), all of whom reside in London.[12] Al-Jaafari is known for being soft-spoken and using flowery language laced with phrases from classical Arabic and literary allusions. Tim Russert revealed that al-Jaafari's favorite current author is American professor Noam Chomsky.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Al Saadi, Ali (24–30 March 2005). "The key players". Al Ahram Weekly 735. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Nimrod Raphaeli Ibrahim al-Ja'fari: Iraq's Designated Prime Minister, who is he?. Free Muslims Coalition. 5 March 2005.
  3. ^ Valentinas Mite and Kathleen Ridolfo. Iraq Looks to Jaafari. Asia Times. 9 April 2005.
  4. ^ Martin Asser. Profile: Ibrahim al-Jaafari. BBC News. 7 April 2005.
  5. ^ Iraq PM makes first foreign trip. BBC News. 20 May 2005.
  6. ^ Edward Wong. Shiites Say U.S. Is Pressuring Iraqi Leader to Step Aside. The New York Times. 28 March 2006.
  7. ^ Roger Hardy. Iraq conflict thwarts PM Jaafari. BBC News. Friday, 21 April 2006.
  8. ^ "US envoy 'calls for new Iraqi PM'". BBC News. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 4 January 2007. 
  9. ^ Sawt al-Iraq, writing in Arabic, Informed Comment, 14 May 2007
  10. ^ "Sadr bloc demands pact referendum", Al Jazeera, May 31, 2008.
  11. ^ Car bombings leave at least 6 dead
  12. ^ Profile: Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Associated Press. 22 February 2005.
  13. ^ Noam Chomsky on Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. Democracy Now! 31 March 2006.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mohammad Bahr al-Ulloum
Acting
President of the Governing Council of Iraq
2003
Succeeded by
Ahmed Chalabi
Preceded by
Ayad Allawi
Prime Minister of Iraq
2005–2006
Succeeded by
Nouri al-Maliki
Preceded by
Hoshyar Zebari
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq
2014–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent