Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir, Iraqi MP for the IISC: "…we call upon the United States to send a message of assurance to the Iraqi people, telling them that it respects Iraqi sovereignty, and that it seeks to ensure respect for Iraqi sovereignty by handing over control of Camp Ashraf to the government troops, particularly since law has been enforced in all governorates."
Iraq’s IISC leaders discuss US agreement
Within its evening programming on 19 June, Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic highlighted a news conference held by Iraqi Islamic Supreme Council [IISC] leaders following "an ordinary periodic meeting" of its General Commission, during which they expressed opposition to the presence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization [MKO] on Iraqi territory and discussed the proposed US-Iraqi long-term agreement, as well as "the proceedings of a trial session of the defendants charged in connection with the case of suppressing the Sha’ban Uprising of 1991," which was carried live during the period 1321-1500 gmt on 19 June. Part of the IISC leaders’ news conference was also carried live by the TV channel.
Within its 1200 gmt newscast on 19 June, Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic carries the following reports:
– "National Security Minister Shirwan al-Wa’ili has affirmed the solidity of the security situation in the city of Samarra. He made this statement when he toured the city streets. During this tour, he inspected the reconstruction of the mausoleums of the Two Al-Askari Imams there."
Then, Al-Wa’ili is shown saying: "As a matter of fact, the visit is meant to obtain assurances about the security situation, both in the city of Samarra and on the roads leading to Samarra. God be praised, our troops are deployed. Security prevails in the area and on the roads leading to this city."
Al-Iraqiyah TV correspondent Amjad Tali says: "Those in charge of the reconstruction effort have said that they are not facing any security or financial problems in the course of the shrine reconstruction effort, as the Prime Ministry allocated $50 million [for this purpose]. Meanwhile, it allocated $25 million to the Samarra District to rebuild its infrastructure, particularly schools and hospitals."
Tali adds: "The talk in Samarra is not confined to the reconstruction and security files. The residents of Samarra are gearing up for opening the political file through creating political entities to compete in the upcoming elections. Official and popular gatherings have seen talk of the Samarra residents’ intention to run in the elections given the stability the city has seen."
– "Brigadier General Ra’d Isma’il, commander of the Two Al-Askari Imams Brigade, has confirmed that Samarra and its environs are free of terrorist cliques now that they have been purged of these elements. He indicated that the city is witnessing a state of stability. Meanwhile, citizens have continued to join the ranks of security services there."
Then, Brig Gen Ra’d Isma’il is shown saying: "Normalcy has been fully and completely restored in Samarra. Two days ago, the city of Samarra saw an influx of volunteers who offered to join the ranks of security services, particularly the National Police. Crowds poured in from all Iraqi governorates, even from the cities of Basra, Karbala, Mosul, Al-Sharqat, and Bayji, and other Iraqi cities."
Afterward, an unidentified Iraqi citizen is shown saying: "God be praised, the security situation in Samarra is stable thanks to the presence of the awakening forces men, the commandos, and policemen."
– "Citizens in Dhi Qar today reiterated their support for the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, and also for security services in the governorate. They also renewed their willingness to thwart any attempt to create a divide in the national ranks there."
– "The Basra tribes today renewed their willingness to fight terrorist cliques in the governorate. At a meeting held there, they reiterated their support for law enforcement operations in Iraq."
Then, an unidentified bearded man is shown saying: "This gathering announced its support for the well-guided religious authority. Likewise, it declared its support for law, and its willingness to fight those who break the law, highway robbers, and those who rebel against government personnel and the government."
– "Al-Najaf Deputy Governor Abd-al-Husayn Abtan has announced the results of the [Al-Najaf] airport checks, which showed that the airport meets the relevant international standards. This came at a news conference held at the governorate premises during which he confirmed that the airport can receive giant planes."
– "The Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court has continued its sessions in Baghdad to look into the crime of suppressing the Sha’ban uprising of 1991. At yesterday’s session, the defendants, henchmen of the defunct regime, made their testimonies."
Within its 1700 gmt newscast on 19 June, Baghdad Al-Iraqiyah Television in Arabic carries the following reports:
– "The IISC has held an ordinary periodic meeting. During the meeting, the conferees discussed a host of Iraqi issues. His Eminence Sayyid Abd-al-Aziz al-Hakim underlined that the presence of the MKO in Iraq violates both the Constitution and international law. He added that the presence of this organization was supported by the Multinational Force."
Then, Al-Hakim is shown saying: "As is known, during the days of the Governing Council in 2003, a decision was made to eject them [the MKO personnel] by early 2004. This decision was unanimously made by the Governing Council. But, then things were controlled by Mr Bremer, Ambassador Bremer, representative of the occupation force, who did not implement this decision under the pretext that these people enjoy protection. The issue remained unresolved and was mentioned in the Constitution, as the Iraqi Constitution stipulated the inadmissibility of the presence in Iraq of terrorist organizations that operate against other states. Nonetheless, the Multinational Force headed by the US troops continued to provide protection for this organization, which was given freedom of movement, which does not happen in any world state."
The TV report adds: "Regarding the Iraqi-US agreement, Vice President Dr Adil Abd-al-Mahdi said that the two sides disagree over some articles of the agreement."
Then, Abd-al-Mahdi is shown saying: "Several issues regarding the entry and exit of troops, immunities, arrests, and basic sovereignty-related issues were raised before the Political Council [for National Security]. Hence, we said that substantive authority should be returned to Iraq. These are the points. At any rate, we have not reached agreement on any specific issue. Proposals were submitted. The Iraqi side has expressed specific, clear, and frank views towards these issues."
Immediately afterward, Shaykh Jalal-al-Din al-Saghir, Iraqi MP for the IISC, is interviewed live by phone.
Asked on the presence of the MKO in Iraq, Al-Saghir says: "With regard to this organization, the Iraqi Government has not made any decision offering this organization political asylum, humanitarian refugee status, or anything that could render its presence on Iraqi territory acceptable from the purely legal point of view. Besides, during the previous period, the days of the criminal regime, this organization committed criminal actions. It was one of the repressive organizations that aided the criminal regime. It wreaked immense havoc within the ranks of the Iraqi people and Iraqi society, as is known to our brothers, the people of Kirkuk and the Diyala Governorate, not to mention the people of Basra and Baghdad. This organization did not make do with these actions, but also opposed the ongoing political process and interfered in Iraqi domestic affairs. This interference was manifested in aiding terrorism in terms of funding, training, and practice. Our brothers, the people of the Kirkuk and Al-Uzaym areas, vividly recall the checkpoints set up by these criminals, who undermined the security of average Iraqis."
Al-Saghir adds: Hence, the Council of Representatives had no choice but to stand firmly, as demonstrated at its previous session; and the Iraqi Government had no choice but to take this noble stand which it adopted. We call for the swift implementation of this stand. Likewise, we call upon the United States to send a message of assurance to the Iraqi people, telling them that it respects Iraqi sovereignty, and that it seeks to ensure respect for Iraqi sovereignty by handing over control of Camp Ashraf to the government troops, particularly since law has been enforced in all governorates."
When queried on the progress of the Iraqi-US negotiations on the long-term agreement, particularly since Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari announced that the agreement will be signed by the end of July, Al-Saghir says: "As far as we are concerned, we might not be bound by a specific deadline, because it is the substance of the agreement and its articles which will determine whether or not the agreement will be signed. However, I can say that the draft submitted recently by the US negotiators reflected US moves that are favourable to the Iraqi people’s interests. But, we do not think that this is enough to settle the process. The issue is still being negotiated by the Iraqi and US negotiators. I advise observers not to dwell on this or that draft, because negotiations, by their nature, entail swift changes, alterations, amendments, drops, and additions. This is the nature of negotiations."
– "Deputy Prime Minister Dr Barham Salih has chaired a meeting that brought together several ministers and government officials. During this meeting, the conferees affirmed that the next three months will see the completion of most projects in Al-Sadr City."
– "Maysan Police Chief Brigadier General Sa’d Ali has affirmed that life will stay normal in the governorate, noting that the relevant agencies will continue their effort to ensure the smooth flow of services, and that school students will continue to sit to their examinations without impediments despite the start of Operation Heralds of Peace there. The police chief in the governorate stressed that the operation is not targeted against any specific trend, party, or segment, but rather against outlaws. He underscored the government’s eagerness to safeguard citizens’ security and safety in Maysan."
– "The tribal chieftains of Maysan have affirmed their absolute support for Operation Heralds of Peace, which kicked off in the governorate today to consolidate security and stability there. This came at an expanded conference they held in the governorate to discuss the means and mechanisms of backing and supporting the security services that are implementing the said operation."
– "Major General Qasim Ata, spokesman for the Law Enforcement Plan, has said that the security services implemented a new plan in Baghdad. He noted that the plan aims to prevent wanted persons from moving from one area to another in the city."