Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani rejects SOFA

July 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM   |   Comments

NAJAF, Iraq, July 8 (UPI) -- Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani Tuesday rejected the security deal between Iraq and the United States on the grounds it violates Iraqi sovereignty.

Sistani met in Najaf with Iraqi national security adviser Muwafaq al-Rubaie to receive updates on the progress of the status of forces agreement set to replace the U.N. mandate for Iraq, which expires this year.

The revered cleric said Iraq should not accept a security arrangement that justifies the illegal occupation of the U.S. military, Alalam news said.

Sistani in June outlined a series of conditions necessary for Iraq to entertain the agreements with the United States.

Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim relayed the four points Sistani said preconditioned any long-term security arrangement.

"The cleric stressed that any long-term pact in Iraq should maintain four key terms including safeguarding Iraqis' interests, national sovereignty, national consensus and being presented to the Iraqi Parliament for approval," Hakim said.

Hakim said the draft framework is a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and does little to remove Iraq from the Chapter VII U.N. Charter authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

Sistani's declaration Tuesday follows a statement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki saying the status of forces agreement must include a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday said the measure likely would not pass in Parliament if U.S. troops receive immunity from Iraqi law under the agreement.

© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
'Duck Dynasty' star Sadie Robertson to join 'DWTS'
Ailina Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon bomber's sister, arrested over alleged bomb threat
Major general stripped of title over handling of sexual abuse allegation
Justin Bieber compares fender bender to Princess Diana's car crash
Utah woman allegedly used bacon to ignite arson attack against ex
Trending News