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Iran-U.S. dialogue has become a "national demand" in Iraq: Hakim

TEHRAN, June 18 (Mehr News Agency) -- Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), has expressed strong support for dialogue between Iran and the United States on Iraq.

In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) published on Monday Hakim said talks between Iran and the U.S. have turned into a "national demand" in Iraq and all key Iraqi groups as well as the Iraqi government attach a special importance to the issue.

"All are well aware of the positive repercussions of these negotiations on the Iraqi situation especially the security situation and that was why the subject received the attention of the prime minister as the highest Iraqi administrative official," Hakim said when asked about the positive effects of such a dialogue on Iraq.

Hakim said the Iraqi government is pushing for the second round of talks so that the Iraqis could "witness the positive effects" of negotiations.

Holding talks and raising important issues especially what is related to the Iraqi security issue is very important as such and all wish the talks would lead to "positive results" which would, in effect, influence the "security situation" in Iraq, he said.

He added establishing some "kind of trust" between regional countries and the United States would contribute to the security and stability in Iraq.

He stated a calm and stable Iraq "would lead to regional security as instability and insecurity would have negative effect on the whole region."

Delegating responsibility to Iraqi forces

Generally speaking, Hakim assessed as positive the implementation of security plans in Iraq and called for some reforms in the endeavor to secure Iraq.

"As a whole, the situation is better comparing to the past, even though it is not ideal," he observed.

"To improve the situation, we also want a few things to be done including delegating the commandership of security operations to Iraqis and training ... Iraqi security forces and arming security apparatus effectively and also signing security agreements between the multinational forces and Iraqi forces."

He said a committee has been established to study these suggestions.

"We believe that the absolute majority of Iraqi nation support the recent political developments and want the establishment of security in Iraq."

The cleric referred to a recent important meeting between the United Iraqi Alliance members with the defense, interior affairs, and oil ministers and some other officials including the Baghdad mayor, in which important decisions were

taken which he hoped would improve the Iraqi security situation and the quality of services offered to the nationals.

"We believe that security should be ensured by the Iraqis themselves," Hakim noted.

He said that coalition forces should support the Iraqi police, army and security agency.

Certain countries plan to undermine the government

"Certain countries do not want the establishment of security in Iraq because they intend to frustrate the political project in the new Iraq."

He believes that such countries do not want to accept the ruling of the majority and try to reestablish the hegemony of the minority which in return fuels insecurity in Iraq.

... Payvand News - 6/19/07 ... --

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