Al-Hayat reports that the US is pressuring the Interim Governing Council to speed up the transfer of responsibility for security to the Iraqi Interior Ministry. Hamam Baqir Hamudi of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq says that it will be necessary to appoint officials approved by each of the major parties to key positions in the ministry. Then liason committees will have to be formed between the security forces belonging to the parties and the leadership of the Interior Ministry. (This last phrase threw me until I realized that he not only intended for the Supreme Council to have officials inside the ministry (which is like our FBI), but also envisaged integrating the Badr Corps paramilitary into its security agents. The Badr Corps was trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and is said to have links to Iran’s hardline ayatollahs.) Hamudi affirmed that US military forces are making preparations to withdraw to military bases outside the cities. He said both the Interim Governing Council and the Americans are agreed that US troops should remain in Iraq in order to support the Iraqi security agencies and to guarantee stability and the unity of the country.
I take Hamud’s words to suggest that the Shiite SCIRI is afraid of Iraq’s Sunnis and Kurds seceding from the new, Shiite-dominated state, and that it wants the Americans to stay for that reason. But it also seems implicit in his remarks that some security functions will be transferred to a Badr Corps integrated into Interior Ministry forces (no wonder he is afraid the Sunnis would try to secede!).