McClatchy reports the U.S. is demanding 58 military bases in Iraq as part of a "status of forces" agreement that would allow American troops to remain in Iraq indefinitely:
Iraqi lawmakers say the United States is demanding 58 bases as part of a proposed "status of forces" agreement that will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country indefinitely.
Leading members of the two ruling Shiite parties said in a series of interviews the Iraqi government rejected this proposal along with another U.S. demand that would have effectively handed over to the United States the power to determine if a hostile act from another country is aggression against Iraq. Lawmakers said they fear this power would drag Iraq into a war between the United States and Iran.
"The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation," said Jalal al Din al Saghir, a leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. "We were occupied by order of the Security Council," he said, referring to the 2004 Resolution mandating a U.S. military occupation in Iraq at the head of an international coalition. "But now we are being asked to sign for our own occupation. That is why we have absolutely refused all that we have seen so far."
The proposed "status of forces" agreement could lead to an uprising in Iraq, according to a leading Iraqi cleric:
A leading Iraqi Shiite cleric said Monday the status of forces agreement between Washington and Baghdad could lead to an uprising in Iraq.
"It is not to the benefit of the U.S. as a major power to lessen the sovereignty of Iraq. This treaty is humiliating to the Iraqi people, and might cause an uprising against it and those who support it," Grand Ayatollah Mohammad al-Modarresi told the Iranian state-run English-language service, Press TV.
Modarresi said the strategic framework between Iraq and the United States needs a full understanding of the situation in Iraq before negotiations on the arrangement proceed. "It will surely fail if kept as it is," he said.
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