A Talk with Iraq's Prime Minister

These are trying days for Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi Prime Minister, who faces two threats: the Sunni insurgency in the west and al-Sadr rebellion in the south. He sat down last week in Baghdad for an interview with TIME reporter Christopher Allbritton. Iraqi police officers stood nearby, but signs of U.S. patronage were everywhere. Even the air conditioners bore the label PROPERTY OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. Dressed in a natty plaid suit, Allawi was alternately avuncular and forceful.

TIME What does the current fighting mean for your ability to stabilize Iraq?

Of course, it hinders a lot of our...