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Who will rule Iraq

On June 30 the USA hands the authority in Iraq to Iraqi Provisional Government.
Leader of movement "Iraqi National Harmony" Iyad al Alaui will be the Prime Minister.

Iyad al Alaui is Shiite, at one point he was the member of Saddam's Baas Party.  After the conflict with Saddam, Alaui went to exile.

There is information that he has had ties with the CIA for a long time.

Earlier, on May 26, Reuters reported that the occupation authorities intend to nominate Hussain al-Shahristani the Prime Minister. However, Mr. Shahristani (on the photo) denied the information on his being nominated Prime Minister and said that he would not like to do this job.

Nevertheless, he is ready to “serve his country”. He will probably have one of the posts in the future Provisional Government. 

Until recently, Hussain al-Shahristani was considered candidate number one for the post of the Prime Minister of Provisional Government. The honest man with no political ambitions was the ideal person for leading the country through the “minefield” to democratic elections. A week ago Mr. Shahristani said in a Washington Post interview that he could “unwillingly” become the Prime Minister if asked.

Experts explain al-Shahristani’s refusal to be Prime Minister by the other candidates-Shiites’ opposition. Then Seyed Alavi was named the candidate for the post of Iraq Prime Minister. Knight Ridder wrote that Alavi is the former member of Baas party and is supported by CIA.

Al-Shahristani is not going to be engaged in political battles. He is Shiite, scientist in nuclear engineering, was prosecuted and tortured under Saddam’ rule, and then went to exile. He could accept Prime Minister post as temporary tenure. However, Mr. Shahristani proved not to be ready for the burden of Prime Minister of the occupied country.

He said he preferred to serve Iraqi people in the humanitarian sphere. He has been doing this after leaving Abu Graib prison in 1991. Mr. Shahristani believes that the country should be directed towards democracy, and its people must be protected from terrorism and violence. This is the responsibility of Iraqi people, he says, and Iraqis themselves should bear this burden. Naturally, Iraqis must build their future with no somebody else’s interference. Currently the country is ‘directed towards democracy’ by occupation troops.

Al-Shahristani is a religious man, he is in the close circle of Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani, but opposes the idea of Iraq as an Islamic state. He was imprisoned and tortured after his refusal to develop nuclear weapons for Saddam Hussein. He spent 11 years in Abu Graib prison, but managed to escape in 1991, during the first Gulf War.

Al-Shahristani studied in Great Britain and Canada and therefore understands Western outlook. His wife is from Ontario, Canada, he was conferred Doctor’s degree at Toronto University.

US sources name another Iraqi man, Adnan Pachachi possible President of Iraq. He is a Sunni and was Iraqi Foreign Minister in 1960.

The new Iraqi Cabinet is gradually taking its shape while the future of the country and the occupation forces deployed there, is becoming vague. It is hard to comprehend how Iraq can restore sovereignty with the help of Provisional Government when 150,000 troops of foreign armies are deployed in the country.

Recently British Prime Minister Tony Blair tried to assure British Parliament and the public that after June 30 strategic political decisions in Iraq will be made by Iraqi government. This is hard to believe. 

The Ministers for the new Iraqi government are being selected by Special Adviser to the Secretary-General Lakhdar Brahimi. His task is hard: the interests of all Iraqi political, ethnic and religious groups should be taken into account. However, nobody analyzes the interests of Iraqi combatants who can have their own opinion on the country government. They can dislike the Ministers appointed by the USA and the UN. There is an option that neither occupants nor Iraqis will respect the Provisional Government. No elections can be organized under such conditions. Meanwhile, al-Shahristani believes that only elections can change the situation in Iraq for the better.

It will be hard for Brahimi and Bush’s envoy Robert Blackwill to find the Prime Minister who is convenient for the West and is not considered a puppet by Iraqis. Al-Shahristani was their first failure.

Sergey Borisov

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