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Iraqi dissident residing in Iran chosen as interim Baghdad governor

Muhammad Mohsen al-Zubaidi, an Iraqi dissident who used to live in Iran, was chosen as the head of the interim local government of Baghdad upon his return to Iraq, IRNA reported from Tehran.

According to Al-Jazeera TV reported in Baghdad, a representative of the "Free Iraqi Officers", Jowdat al-Abidi announced that choosing al-Zubaidi for occupying the sensitive post was done after making heavy consultations with prominent personalities residing in Baghdad.

Al-Abidi added, "al-Zubaidi will hold the post until the future free elections. He did not mention a date for the said elections though, or whether or not the matter has been harmonized with the occupier US forces.

According to al-Abidi, the interim government of Baghdad will be commissioned the task of restoring security and stability in the Iraqi capital, as well as seeing into the mending of the water and lectricity facilities of the city.

Al-Jazeera also quoted al-Zubaidi as saying that he is backed by a number of Iraqi dissidents inside and outside the country, as well as some prominent personalities in Baghdad.

British envoy, SAIRI chairman meet in Tehran

British envoy to Tehran Richard John Dalton and Chairman of the Supreme Assembly of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SAIRI) Seyed Mohammad Baqer Hakim discussed the situation in Iraq on Wednesday.

The media department of the SAIRI said in a fax to IRNA that the two sides traded ideas on the developments taking shape in Iraq including in the holy city of Najaf.

They also reviewed the status of the religious leaders in the post-war era.

Hakim stressed the need for further attention to the situation in Iraq and warned against any action that could worsen it.

He said the Iraqi people should get in their hands the fate of their country.

He commented on the Nassiriya summit and said the SAIRI would not take part in a summit that is held by Americans.

He touched on the positions of Iraqi opposition and said they hold a common viewpoints on the future of their country and hence any decisions or action should be in line with their stand, as previously announced in London conference.

The British envoy said he would try to contribute to efforts on the reconstruction of Iraq.

The same report said the ambassadors of France, Belgium and Mali have met and conferred with Hakim yesterday in Tehran.

In the meeting, Hakim said the Iraqi people would not accept an American rule them.

He underlined the prime importance of the London and Salahuddin conferences and called for efforts to create a democratic regime in Iraq.

He called on the United Nations and European countries to play a key role in the reconstruction of Iraq based on the human principles.

He said the Iraqi people have waited a long time for seeing the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime but they do not want the instability and tension dominate their country with the US presence there.

The ambassadors vowed top probe into the situation in Iraq and try to bring help to remove the hardships facing the country.

The SAIRI chairman said the Iraqi people want to see establishment of a political system in their country where the masses could express their beliefs and thoughts freely.

He said the freedom of expression is one of the instruction of the holy religion of Islam adding that the coalition forces have left nothing but instability and insecurity in Iraq.

Ayatollah Mohammad-Baqer Hakim in a statement earlier called on the Iraqi people to get united to rebuild the country after war.

He expressed concern over the security situation in Iraq and the assassination of Seyyed Abdul Majid-Khoei and said the prominent Shiite cleric's killing revealed the instability and tension in Iraq.

Prominent Shiite cleric Seyyed Abdul Majid al-Khoei was murdered in the religious Iraqi city of Najaf Thursday at the mausoleum of Imam Ali (AS) -- the first infallible imam of Shiite Muslims -- while he was saying his prayers.

Karbala governor general elected by local committee

The 35-member Local Committee of Karbala elected Mohammad Hussein Nasrullah as governor general of Karbala province, member of Islamic Amal Organization's political office Javad al-Attar told IRNA on Wednesday.

Attar said that on public demand, the local committee reinstated the former governor general who was a lawyer.

He said that situation in Karbala is satisfactory adding that the people are awaiting the formation of an Iraqi Interim Administration (IIA).

He said that the people are holding regular demonstrations demanding that an Iraqi undertake the interim administration soon rejecting foreign national to serve as Iraqi ruler.

He said that staff of government offices and hospitals have been at their job adding that the hospital officials in Karbala complained about shortage of blood supply.

Al-Attar said that the people are holding special ceremonies on the eve of the mourning occasion of 'Arbaein'.

Arbaein, marks the 40th day after Ashura, the day on which Imam Hussein (AS), the third Imam of Prophet Muhammad (SA) household was martyred along with 72 comrades and young family members in an unequal battle with the ruler of the time in Karbala.

... Payvand News - 4/17/03 ... --

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