Leading Iraqi Sunni Leader Seeks Timeline, Rejects ˜Soft Partition Plan Advanced By U.S. Experts

Today, Iraqi Vice President Tariq Al-Hashimi, a top Sunni leader, threatened to pull out of the government and withdraw his 44-member bloc from the Iraqi parliament if long overdue constitutional changes aren’t made by May 15th.

Al-Hashimi complained about the lack of progress in Iraq’s political transition and specifically asked for guarantees that Iraq would not be split into Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish states.

This particular demand by the Sunni leader rejects ideas promoted by the likes of Council of Foreign Relations fellow Les Gelb and Brookings fellow Michael O’Hanlon, demonstrating that the so-called “soft partition” just won’t work in Iraq because it lacks support of a key group — Iraq’s Sunnis.

Instead, what is needed is a comprehensive plan for getting American troops out of Iraq’s civil war and working for a political settlement to Iraq’s conflict with intensified regional diplomacy, as detailed in the Center for American Progress’s Iraq plan, Strategic Redeployment.  — Brian KatulisUPDATE: Kevin Drum has more.