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Monday, June 2, 2008

The Deal American wants from Iraq Part 2

The mandate of US troops in Iraq will expire in December 2008 and Washington has been trying to win the support of Iraqi politicians over the deal which, the major terms, would allow the US military to have at least 13 permanent military bases and grant American citizens immunity from legal prosecution.

Thousands of Iraqi protested against the agreement

Al-Maliki's government is under US pressure to sign this 'mutual security agreement' which would allow the long-term presence of US troops in the oil rich country. There are widespread objections from Iraqi religious and Political figures and has raised doubts that negotiators can meet a July target to finalize a pact which according to critics would turn Iraq into a 'US colony'.

The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the US President George W. Bush signed the draft SOFA in 2007. The White House has also been struggling to win the support of the Iraqi lawmakers for the agreement by offering them bribes. According to sources in Iraq's parliament, Washington has offered three-million dollars in bribe to the MPs who sign the "framework accord."

Iraqi Cleric opposition

Iraq's Ayatollah Mohammad Sadegh Shirazi and Ayatollah Kasim al_Haeri has voiced concern over Washington's proposals for a long-term security agreement with Baghdad. Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani had already voiced his strong opposition to the deal in a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the holy city of Najaf on Thursday.

Moqtada Al-Sadr has been vocal too, saying he will send delegations to other neighboring countries to gain their support in objecting against the SOFA and has called for demonstrations.

On Friday Tens of thousands of people took to streets throughout the country after Moqtada al Sadr called for the protests. Al-Sadr has also called for weekly protests against the deal.

Iraqi Politicians opposition

Head of the main Shia bloc in Iraq, Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, whose alliance constitutes the backbone of the Iraqi government, has also expressed his reservations about the accord.

Iraqi politicians loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada al Sadr including lawmakers Falah Hassan Shanshal and Maha Adel, have urged the government to hold a referendum on the US-Iraq 'security pact' and issued a statement on Saturday in Baghdad and called on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki to halt negotiations with the White House and hold a public referendum on the controversial issue.

The lawmakers also said they 'absolutely reject' the accord and urged all Iraqis to continue their peaceful demonstrations against it. A former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari highlighted that the agreement brings shame to the Iraqi nation.

Government reaction

In a new twist, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says the Iraqi nation will never fall under foreign tutelage nor will Iraq ever lose its sovereignty.

Maliki said Friday that there will be no need for the presence of occupational forces in Iraq as long as his government is able to enforce the law equally toward all factions and political parties in the country. "No one in Iraq will accept the guardianship of foreigners. All Iraqis oppose it," he added. He made these remarks in a meeting with Iranian apeaker and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on the sidelines of the Stockholm conference on Iraq.

Meanwhile, a senior Iraqi official has said that negotiations between the US and Iraqi government over a security agreement to extend US troops presence in Iraq beyond 2008 has hit snag. Sa'ad Javad Qandil, an advisor to the Iraqi vice president, said: "There are many big problems in the draft of the security deal; there would also be many setbacks in future talks."

Qandil added: "What is important at this stage is discussion over the principles and codes determining the details of the agreement." "These principles include respect to the Iraqi government's sovereignty, safeguarding the country's independence, removing the country from the UN charter's Chapter Seven, attempts to end the foreigners' presence in the country and taking from them the entire responsibility for establishing security, transparency regarding the items of the agreement, and making it public for the people's knowledge".

the deal american wants from iraq part 1

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