UN Security Council Vote expected Tuesday;
Sistani Weighs in Against Interim Constitution
The final details of the UN Security Council resolution, on the caretaker government to which the Bush administration maintains it will surrender sovereignty on June 30, have been worked out. The final draft will include a provision for a joint committee of high ranking Iraqis and Americans to make decisions about sensitive military operations in the country. The US had balked at giving control over the US military to the Iraqi government.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the text of which was released on Monday, in which he argued strongly against any mention in the UN resolution of the interim constitution passed by the US-appointed Interim Governing Council in February. As quoted by al-Hayat, Sistani wrote:
“It has reached us that some are attempting to insert a mention of what they call ‘The Law for the Administration of the Iraqi State in the Transitional Period’ [i.e. the interim constitution] into the new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq– with the goal of lending it international legitimacy. This “Law”, which was legislated by an unelected council in the shadow of Occupation, and with direct influence from it, binds the national parliament, which it has been decided will be elected at the beginning of the new Christian year for the purpose of passing a permanent constitution for Iraq. This matter contravenes the laws, and most children of the Iraqi people reject it. For this reason, any attempt to bestow legitimacy on it through mentioning it in the UN resolution would be considered an action contrary to the will of the Iraqi people and a harbinger of grave consequences.”
Sistani’s intervention, which appears to have been successful, has infuriated the Kurds, who see the Interim Constitution as their only real guarantee against the return of a heavy-handed Baghdad in their provinces.