Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iranian Parliament Speaker Larijani warns Iraq against US SOFA

Press TV reports that Iran's Majlis (parliament) speaker says an Iraq-US security pact would have dire consequences for the Iraqi nation and regional states.

Under the proposed security agreement, American troops will be able to legally stay in Iraq for three more years after a UN mandate allowing their military presence on Iraqi soil expires on December 31.

The Iraqi parliament is scheduled to vote on the controversial treaty on Wednesday.

Ali Larijani, the top Iranian Majlis member, said Monday that Iraqi parliamentarians should carefully study all aspects of the agreement and have the right to be over sensitive about it.

"There are articles in the deal that are a kind of deception ... and contradict Iraq's sovereignty," Larijani was quoted by Mehr news agency.

"The treaty is a mirage that if finalized will compel Iraqis to follow the Americans for a very long time," he continued.

The top US military commander, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, hinted last week that even after signing the agreement, Washington would continue talks to change the articles of the security treaty.

"Three years is a long time. Conditions could change in that period of time," said Adm. Mullen. "Clearly, [changing the agreement] is theoretically possible."