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From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Sat May 31 2008Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation
Sat May 31 2008Thousands of Iraqis protest proposed Status of Forces Agreement with US
On May 30th, tens of thousands of Iraqis protested in a number of cities against the proposed agreement between the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration that would codify a long-term US military occupation.
Muqtada al-Sadr is demanding that any US-Iraqi security agreement be submitted to a national referendum.
Sources close to the office of Ayatollah Ali Sistani have said that he has called on the Iraqi prime minister to deal cautiously with the agreement and called on him to organize a national referendum on it. Iranian TV has claimed that Sistani has said he will not allow a US-Iraq agreement "as long as he is alive." There are also rumors that he has approved attacks on US forces in Iraq. Officially he has said little but has stated on his website that Iraqis are forbidden to provide food for US occupiers.
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Islamic Supreme Council in Iraq, the largest bloc in parliament and cornerstone of the al-Maliki government, issued a statement through his office. He spoke of the existence of: "a national consensus on rejecting many of the points put forward by the American side in the agreement, because they detract from national sovereignty." He said that such a consensus existed in the National Security Council, which is composed of the leaders of the major political blocs in the parliament.
Thousands of Iraqis protest agreement for indefinite US occupation | Thousands of Sadrists Protest Security Pact With US | Haeri Fatwa Against Security Agreement | Sadr demands Referendum on SOFA | Sistani Opposes SOFA | Sistani Forbids Feeding Americans | Sistani Aide: Jihad Fatwa May Come | Will Sistani Declare Jihad on US?