Alex Constantine - November 28, 2008
" ... Washington echelons repeatedly threatened to overthrow the Iraqi government if they continued their opposition to the security deal ... "
Janaati: Iraq passed US deal out of force
Fri, 28 Nov 2008
The Iraqi Parliament was pressured into voting in favor of the US-proposed security agreement, says a senior Iranian official.
A member of Iran's Guardian Council said on Friday that Washington had threatened to topple the Iraqi government if it resisted the security deal and therefore forced the ratification of the controversial agreement.
"Washington echelons repeatedly threatened to overthrow the Iraqi government if they continued their opposition to the security deal," said Tehran's interim Friday prayers leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.
Iraq's al-Morsad reported on Oct. 10 that US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had warned that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would be 'ousted' unless he signed the US-proposed security pact.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has also claimed that the Bush administration had threatened to cut off vital services to Baghdad if it further delayed the accord, saying the threats were akin to 'political blackmail'.
"It was really shocking for us … Many people are looking to this attitude as a matter of blackmailing," al-Hashimi said on Oct. 26.
According to Ayatollah Jannati, Iraqi lawmakers approved the bill to safeguard the interests of the war-torn country and drive away potential threats.
The Iraqi Parliament after much deliberation decided on Thursday to approve a controversial security pact with the United States after government concessions to put the agreement to a referendum no later than July 30, 2009.
The deal has met extreme opposition in the oil-rich country as it extends US presence in Iraq for an additional three years and grants Americans immunity from persecution in Iraqi courts.
The agreement had been signed by the Iraqi Cabinet before gaining parliamentary approval and now requires the ratification of Iraq's Presidential Council.