http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21097.htm

 

By Press TV

October 26, 2008 “Press TV” — The controversial US-Iraq security agreement includes ‘some secret provisions’, which would flagrantly violate Iraq’s sovereignty.

Secret provisions have been incorporated in the so-called Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would violate Iraq’s sovereignty in a more direct manner than the provisions disclosed by the Iraqi media, the Saudi daily Okaz reported on Sunday, citing “informed political sources”.

According to the report, although “the secret provisions” would have more adverse consequences for Iraq in terms of the country’s sovereignty and independence, a majority of Iraqi lawmakers have been kept entirely unaware of them.

Based on those provisions, the US would be granted the permission to build military bases, camps and prisons inside Iraq. The scope of the immunity from legal prosecution for the US forces–the most controversial provision of SOFA– would also be extended to include all US security, military and civilian firms as well as the US army’s contractors.

Under the terms of SOFA, Iraqi officials would be prohibited from meddling in operations carried out by US forces or limiting their authority. The US would also be allowed to attack any country, which “represents a security threat to Iraq” from the country’s soil.

After signing the deal, Baghdad would be obliged to ask for Washington’s approval before concluding any regional or international agreements with third countries.

According to the Okaz report, SOFA would bring the Iraqi key ministries of defense and interior under US control for 10 years to facilitate “the training of the Iraqi forces.”

The Saudi newspaper also claimed that under the secret provisions, no timetable would be set for the withdrawal of US troops form Iraq and any pull-out would depend on several conditions.

The conditions for any US withdrawal include the readiness of Iraqi forces, the success in fighting terrorism, the removal of “the neighboring countries’ security threats”, national reconciliation and a consensus among all Iraqi political groups on the issue. Washington would be entitled to stay in Iraq, if even one of those conditions were not fulfilled.

Based on those SOFA provisions which have made public, the US forces must leave the war-torn country by early 2011 without any preconditions.

The report also ruled out the possibility that the US and Iraq would reach an agreement before the term of US President George W. Bush in office ends.

The failure to sign the deal, according to the daily, should be considered as a setback for the Bush administration which is seeking to play the card of SOFA to strengthen the position of the Republican Party before the upcoming US presidential elections.

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21097.htm