By Samuel Burke, CNN
Iraq is seeing some of the worst violence since the civil war of 2006.
Hundreds of people have been killed over the past few weeks –dozens died on Monday alone in a wave of tit-for-tat bombings targeting the Sunni and Shiite communities.
However, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari insists the country is not unraveling.
"We are worried indeed because of this increase in the number of terrorist attacks and also the rise of sectarian tension," Zebari told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. "But really, the country is not sliding into civil war or sectarian war."
However, in the unusually frank conversation, Zebari acknowledged the many failures of his government, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and its inability to rise above sectarian differences.
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"The government has its own failing. I'm not here to give you a rosy picture or to portray unrealistic picture. But the country is not crashing," Zebari said - insisting Iraq has seen worse times than these.
He said the violence was a direct result of the lack of political progress among the politicians.
"What is lacking is the lack of confidence of trust among the politicians," Zebari said. "And we have lost the service of an honest broker. Before, it used to be the United States."
Zebari's government is accused of centralizing too much power, of being almost as autocratic in its own way as the Sunni Saddam Hussein regime that was overthrown.
Critics of Prime Minister Maliki say he bears a huge share of responsibility and some are even saying it's time for him to go because of the overreliance on Shiite cronies and political brokers.
"The new Iraq cannot be ruled by one set of or one nationality or one man or one party. Those days are gone," Zebari said, candidly. "It would be up to the Iraqi electorate in the future to change its government through the ballot boxes."
Zebari even acknowledged that at recent a cabinet meeting there was a very frank discussion about the need to lower the rhetoric.
"There is a need for the government to rise above any sectarian leaning," Zebari said. "The prime minister acts as the prime minister of all the communities, not of one community against the other. There have to be measures of accountability for all these breaches of security and this killing of innocent people."