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- Leave Saddam in power? So that he would be free to continue killing, free to invade his neighbors, so that he would be free to — I am sorry — develop nuclear weapons? No.
- As quoted in "Regrets Only?" (7 October 2007), by Dexter Filkins, The New York Times Magazine
- Al-Qaeda is a virus and it is spreading. If we fail to stop it, we will pay a very heavy price.
- "Iraq: The Regional Security Dimension" (May 2007), World Economic Forum
- I'm realistic, but at the same time, I'm optimistic. I believe we can overcome the problems. I do not shrink from the level of interest and political economy of the violence that has been caused by successive crises over the past ten years. These interests have prevented the progress of Iraq and the welfare of the citizens, but I am optimistic to the children of the country that they will understand the depth of the problems.
- As quoted in "Saleh Saleh: We are looking at the Arab countries to end the crisis" (30 August 2014), Sharqparsi
- Fixing Iraq would go a long way towards fixing much of the Middle East.
- "A reformed Iraq would provide a template for the Middle East" (18 May 2017), Financial Times
- Is the Iraqi state succeeding? I think there are some prospects for this country to be moving in the right direction. But the legacies of the past, the problems are really, really monumental... We need to deliver. Otherwise we will not be able to justify what we do in the eyes of our public. And public opinion does matter in Iraq. People speak their minds. People are engaged, are interested... Life is coming back... Every time I go out of the presidential palace in Baghdad — and I do try to go out as often as I can — I do see normalcy coming back, more and more. I do think there is a window of opportunity — it should be cherished. We’ve not had it like this for a long, long time... It’s precious, but precarious.
- As quoted in "Iraq’s president explains why the U.S. must reengage with Baghdad" (20 March 2019), by Christian Caryl, The Washington Post
- Encyclopedic article on Barham Salih at Wikipedia