Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
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Say what? Iran's solution the Iraq issue is a joke.
Iran offered a plan Tuesday to avert war in neighboring Iraq, calling for elections supervised by the United Nations and urging the nation's divided opposition to reconcile with President Saddam Hussein.
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi announced the plan in Tehran, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
"We want a referendum to be held in Iraq and the Iraqi opposition (to) reconcile with the current regime in that country under the supervision of the United Nations," Kharrazi was quoted as saying during a conference held in the capital. "We believe this is a genuine move, that the Iraqi people elect their real representatives in a referendum supervised by the United Nations," IRNA quoted Kharrazi as saying. The foreign minister added, however, that Iran had no intention of interfering in Iraq's domestic affairs. "They should themselves decide on their own future and form a broad-based government in which all minorities as well as ethnic and religious groups have a share," Kharrazi said.
Reconcile what? The fact that Saddam wants to kill all of his opponents and rules enough military power to assure that he wins any 'election'? I'm sure all of the groups that he has attempted to ethnically cleanse will be more than willing to sit down and discuss the matter with him. Somehow I don't see Kharrazi telling the Palestinians the same thing.
And of course the AP still has to report this as an incontrovertible fact.
In October, Saddam won a referendum extending his term by another seven years, capturing by official count 100 percent of the more than 11 million votes cast.
Needless to say Iraqi opposition grous quickly shot that idea down.
In the first reaction following Iran's announcement, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, one of the two main Kurdish groups controlling large parts of northern Iraq, rejected the idea.
"No elections or referendum can be held as long as Saddam remains in Iraq. Iraqi opposition groups have agreed on a multiparty federal system to govern Iraq after Saddam's fall. No agreement can be reached between Iraqi opposition groups and Saddam because he won't accept it," said Piroud Ebrahim of the KDP.
The other main Kurdish group, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, said it sent a similar proposal to Saddam six months ago and received no response.
"I don't expect the Iraqi regime to respond to such a plan and Baghdad has not responded to similar initiatives," said Hazem al-Youssefi, the PUK's representative in Cairo.
The key Shiite Muslim Iraqi opposition group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which is based in Iran, rejected the plan.
The Supreme Council "has nothing to do with the plan," a Supreme Council official said on condition of anonymity. "We respect Iran's stand but Tehran usually does not impose its opinions on SCIRI and we are not committed to accept the plan."
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