Mr Talabani said at least three people had died after being tortured at the interior ministry during Mr Allawi's term as prime minister, which ended in April this year.
But, he said, that did not make Mr Allawi worse than Saddam Hussein.
I don't know how bad it really is over there, but from what I've read of both stories, it sounds like Allawi is bitter and that might be reflected somewhat in his comments. But he has made some good points:
"Iraq is the centrepiece of this region," he said. "If things go wrong, neither Europe nor the United States will be safe."
He has that much right, which is exactly why it's so important for a real democracy to take root there, and for the Iraqis to defend themselves against the terrorists.
I've read several stories about the Shi'a abusing the Sunnis lately, and I imagine some of it is probably true, so I'm glad the Americans are there to intervene as they did recently when they uncovered that one prison where captives were being tortured.
It looks like Iraq has a long way to go before qualifying as a stable democracy - hopefully the various factions will not destroy each other before that happens...