Iraqi politicians slam US civil administrator

Published May 20th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

The Higher Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq confirmed Monday the presence of serious disputes between the various Iraqi political parties and the US civil administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer, over the ongoing process of ‘transfer-of-autonomy’ to the Iraqis. The council threatened to organize massive demonstrations and protests against the interim authority, which Bremer intends to impose on the country. 

 

Spokesman for the Higher Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Hamed al Bayati, accused Bremer’s administration of reneging on previous US promises to speed up the process of transfer of power to an independent Iraqi government. 

 

Bayati was referring to the US promises given to the various Iraqi political groups during their meeting with the retired American general, Jay Garner, in the Iraqi City of al Nassiriya. The same promises were also given by the American president’s envoy to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, during their meeting in Erbil. 

 

“The American administration told us that it was willing to accept the formation of an independent Iraqi government but they are now talking about a transitional Iraqi authority instead,” Bayati on Monday told Al Bawaba from his office in the holy city of al Najaf. He reiterated “we refuse this…and we will resist it by peaceful means, be it through demonstrations or protests, as the Iraqi people are demanding an independent Iraqi government.” 

 

The spokesman went on to say that representatives from several Iraqi political parties told Bremer, during their most recent meeting with him, that they would be sticking to their demands. “We told Bremer during the meeting that we want an Iraqi government and refuse an occupational government,” said al Bayati who attended the meeting. He indicated that the dispute between Iraq’s political factions and Bremer focused on the issue of sovereignty. “We want sovereignty for Iraqis, and they want it for the military occupation. We want an independent Iraqi government, and they want an occupational authority,” explained Bayati. 

 

He also added that the issue of the Iraqi money was another sticking point between the two sides. “They want all the money to be deposited in a fund under the supervision of the occupiers, while we want this money to go to the [new] Iraqi government,” said Bayati. 

 

According to Bayati, Bremer’s plans for the ministries of defense,, foreign affairs and interior are to fall under the control of the transitional authority, which is to be formed by the US administration in Iraq. 

 

Bayati held Bremer responsible for these disputes, indicating that Garner and Khalilzad were more sensitive to the Iraqi demands than he is. (Albawaba.com) 


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