Iraq opposes U.S. security deal

June 3, 2008 at 6:58 PM   |   Comments

BAGHDAD, June 3 (UPI) -- Iraqi officials Tuesday rejected any draft proposal concerning a strategic relationship with the United States that would undermine Iraqi sovereignty.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Tuesday the central government decided "not to accept any article (that) violates Iraq's sovereignty," Voices of Iraq reported.

The decision supports a growing chorus of dissenters from the political and religious elite in Iraq regarding the security arrangement that in 2009 will replace the current U.N. mandate in Iraq.

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi told the Jordanian Society of Sciences and Culture that Iraq would not accept "any formula" that undercuts national sovereignty, the English-language Iranian news channel Press TV said Tuesday.

"There is an Iraqi national consensus to reject the draft agreement," Hashimi said at the conclusion of a five-day visit to Jordan Monday.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said recently he would not allow the Iraqi government to negotiate a long-term security arrangement with "the U.S. occupiers" as long as he was alive, and the rebel Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr during Friday prayers called on his supporters to demonstrate against the agreement.

Meanwhile, Ayatollah Mohammad Medhi Asefi, a former secretary-general of the Dawa Party of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, told the Al-Alam news network the strategic proposal with the United States was an insult to the Iraqi people and the Islamic faith.

"The Iraqi nation is strongly opposed to such a foreign influence in the country. The Iraqi people, due to their commitment to Islam and holy Koran, reject any kind of hegemony by the oppressive states, including the U.S., over Muslims, whether it be security hegemony, military or propaganda," he said.

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