12/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

US-Iraq Security Pact Unlikely To Pass, Says Senior Iraqi Leader

A senior Iraqi political leader said yesterday he is "doubtful" that a bilateral agreement authorizing U.S. forces to remain in Iraq after the end of the year would be approved by the Iraqi cabinet and parliament.

Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, said most political factions in Iraq want the accord to go through. But he said the country is "in a situation of intellectual terrorism, where people are not able to state their real positions" for fear of appearing too close to the United States and of undercutting their standing in provincial elections scheduled for January.

"Personally, I'm doubtful it will pass," Barzani said, speaking through a translator, during a meeting with Washington Post reporters and editors.

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