Iraq's defense minister says the government will arrest Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmad Chalabi on charges of slandering his ministry, as the two men wage a public war of words against each other.
In an interview on al-Jazeera Friday, Mr. Chalabi called for an investigation of Defense Minister Hazem al-Shalaan for his involvement in a controversial transfer of 300 million dollars in cash from Iraq to Lebanon. The money was reported to have been used for buying weapons and military equipment. Mr. al-Shalaan said Mr. Chalabi will be arrested and handed over to Interpol for trying to defame both him and the defense ministry, as well as for a 1992 embezzlement conviction by a Jordanian court.
Both Mr. al-Shalaan and Mr. Chalabi are candidates for national assembly seats, and Mr. Chalabi is considered a contender for prime minister. Mr. Chalabi is reported to be campaigning in southern Iraq, and he has not responded to the defense minister's charges against him.