ash-Sharq al-Awsat: Old-time al-Da`wa leader in exile, Ayatollah Kadhim al-Haeri, issued a statement Friday from Qom, Iran, on the caretaker government in Iraq. He said there were 6 things it needed to do to demonstrate its patriotic credentials and gain acceptance. These were
1. To recover complete sovereignty that is unconstrained and the return of Iraqi wealth to the country from any other hands.
2. Safeguarding the unity of Iraq’s land and people
3. The government must enroll itself in providing security and opportunities for a good life to the people.
4. It must defend general liberties, within the limits set by divine law, and must offer all citizens the opportunity to participate in the political process.
5. It must immediately conduct a census, in order to put an end to the disputes over the relative strength of the ehtnicities that make up united Iraq.
6. It must create an atmosphere conducive to general elections and give all citizens equally the opportunity to participate in shaping their future.
Al-Haeri is a Khomeinist who attempted to dissolve the al-Da`wa Party into Khomeini’s Party of God, and he has said numerous extremist things in the past year. He initially authorized Muqtada al-Sadr to be his representative in Iraq, but the two are said to have a cooler relationship now. His stated concern for democracy in this statement is disingenuous, since what he means by “within the limits of the divine law” is that a top cleric like himself should actually rule, and act as a brake on democracy, as in Iran.