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Iran's Larijani: US proposed security pact will violate Iraq's security

Tehran, Oct 20, IRNA - Visiting former Iraqi prime minister who is currently a Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Jaafari here on Monday conferred with Iran's Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani on expansion of mutual relations as well as regional developments.

According to the Information and Media Department of Majlis, at the meeting, Jaafari described Larijani as a brilliant politician with invaluable experiences.

Highlighting deeply-rooted and friendly ties between the two nations, Larijani said the Iranian Majlis spares no efforts to render any type of assistance in order to uphold level of brotherly ties between the two countries.

Iran's principled policy is based on consolidation of ties with Iraq in order to help restore peace and stability to the war-stricken country, he said.

The US is exerting pressure on the Baghdad government to sign Iraq-US security agreement which is in violation of the country's security and interests, he said.

The agreement will prevent Iraq from playing its active role at international and regional levels, Larijani said.

The current circumstance is very vital in Iraq's history and Iraqi officials are taking a great test, he said, adding that the next Iraqi generations will never forgive those who signed this security agreement with the United States of America.

Iraq-US security agreement is full of weak points, he underlined.

The Iraqi official, for his part, highlighted significant role of parliaments in broadening ties among nations and called for promotion of parliamentary cooperation and benefiting from Iran's experiences to this effect.

The US-Iraq security agreement is regarded as a stain in the forehead of Iraq and its people will never accept it, he said.

The countries who have inked such treaties with the US could not get rid of their humiliating impacts, he said.

Following failure of US policies in the region along with the country's financial crisis, the country will not be able to impose its policies on the Iraqi nation, Jaafari said.

Iraq parties want amendments to draft security pact with US

Baghdad, Oct 20, IRNA - Iraqi political parties and allies of the government said they could not endorse the pact as written and wanted amendments.

They formed a committee on Saturday to survey the views of members of the alliance.

"The alliance asked the prime minister to reopen the negotiations with the Americans and try to modify the pact until it becomes acceptable to us," said Sami al-Askari, a leader Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al- Maliki's Dawa Party.

Whether the agreement will be signed "will depend on the American side," he said.

The Americans had pushed hard to persuade the Iraqis to complete the agreement by mid-summer because they worried that the Iraqi government would be reluctant to endorse the deal as the provincial elections, originally scheduled for October 1, approached.

But the Iraqis resisted, and now despite concessions from the Americans, seem to be backing away.

The problem is that there is no satisfactory backup option and without a legal cover for the US military's continued presence in the country, the troops cannot function.

If the Iraqis decide that it is politically too risky for them to sign an agreement, another option would be to extend the existing United Nations Security Council resolution, which allows American troops to operate in Iraq.

But the Iraqis do not want to do that and there are other countries on the Security Council, including Russia, that would be unlikely to support an extension.

Some Iraqi politicians have floated the idea of signing a memorandum of understanding between Iraq's foreign minister and the American secretary of state, but that would not provide guarantees recognized by international law to protect American troops from facing trial in Iraqi courts in the event of wrongdoing.

Soldiers are now tried for alleged crimes committed in Iraq under American military law.

The agreement sets the end of 2011 as a date for American withdrawal from Iraq, based on the performance and increasing capacity of the Iraqi security forces, and sets several specific dates for troop withdrawals from Iraq's cities. But the draft also states that those "date goals" could be changed by mutual agreement.

The agreement would also make private American security companies and other contractors subject to Iraqi justice in criminal cases, which was a major demand from Iraqi officials.

But another central Iraqi point, to make American military personnel subject to Iraqi law, did not go through.

In the absence of any deal by December 31 when the United Nations resolution that now authorizes the activities of American troops in Iraq expires, the military would have to halt all operations; remain on their bases; stop flying air support and prepare to leave, according to American government officials familiar with the negotiations.

A senior lawmaker with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, one of the most powerful Shia factions, told a government Website that seven changes needed to be made to the pact, including the addition of a right for Iraqis to search American supplies entering the country.

Askari, of the Dawa Party, said that two provisions particularly worried the Iraqis.

The first was the option left for the Iraqi government to extend the American presence beyond 2011 if the government decided it wanted the soldiers to stay.

The second was a provision setting up a committee that would review alleged crimes of soldiers and determine whether they should be referred to Iraqi courts .

"We told the prime minister that these texts can be deleted without any effect on the rest of the agreement, this will assure us there is no problem with this draft," he said.

The largest Sunni bloc in parliament, Tawafiq, also hesitated to endorse the agreement.

The hesitation came as something of a surprise since until recently Sunnis have been supportive of the American presence because they feared a repeat of the sectarian cleansing that forced many from their homes in Baghdad and surrounding areas.

The reticence may be that, like Maliki, they do not want to alienate staunch nationalists who may be on the fence about whether to vote for their candidates in the provincial elections.

The most stridently nationalist parties, like that of the anti-American cleric Moktada al- Sadr, have long opposed any agreement.

"We are still reviewing the last draft of the security pact and there's no final position yet," said Salim al-Jubouri, the spokesman for Tawafiq.

Iran respects Iraq's sovereignty, people's vote

Baghdad, Oct 20, IRNA - Spokesman for Iran's Embassy in Baghdad Manouchehr Taslimi said on Monday that the Islamic Republic of Iran respects people's votes in Iraq, the country's sovereignty as well as its Ulema.

The spokesman made the remark in response to anti-Iran propaganda campaigns launched by the US in Iraq.

Speaking to IRNA, he said US General Ray Odierno has accused Iran of appeasing the Iraqi parliament not to ink the security agreement with the US.

In the past the US had made various accusations against Iran which all lacked concrete evidences, he said.

The US politico-military officials assume that through propaganda and accusing others, they are able to change realities in Iraq.

In fact the Iraqi nation is against presence of occupation forces in their motherland, he underlined.

The US general has made such accusation to persuade the Iraqi parliament to sign the security agreement with the US, he underlined.

Iraqi officials and politicians as well as the Iraqi nation gave a crushing response to US allegations through nationwide demonstrations, he said.

Such allegations is regarded as an insult to a freedom seeking nations who has incurred huge losses for attaining its independence, Taslimi said.

Iran's foreign policy is based on non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries such as Iraq as well as respecting the country's sovereignty, he said.

... Payvand News - 10/20/08 ... --

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