Watch part two 

When Iyad Allawi became Iraq's interim prime minister in June 2004, many Iraqis were sceptical.

Religious leaders thought he was too secular. The anti-Saddam opposition mistrusted him as an ex-Baathist. And the man on the street suspected him of being an American stooge.

Tainted by his close association with the Americans, the 63-year-old Allawi was voted out in the December 2005 parliamentary elections.

He has since become a vocal critic of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government. Allawi has expressed grave reservations about the US-Iraq security agreement passed by parliament recently.

The agreement paves the way for all US troops to withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011.

However, despite his reservations, Allawi has decided to support parliament in endorsing the agreement – possibly as part of a political trade-off.  

Allawi and other Sunni political factions offered conditional support to al-Maliki and  eventually forced the government to agree to a national referendum to be held by July next year.   

Our guest this week, Iyad Allawi, offers us an insight into the internal politics surrounding the controversial US-Iraq security agreement.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, December 05, 2008 at the following times GMT:
1730, 2230; Saturday: 0530, 2030; Sunday: 0300, 0830; Monday: 0330

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Source: Al Jazeera