Iraq National Resistance leaders in talks with US administration

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Ali al-Juburi, secretary general of the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance, recently gave an interview on ‘negotiations’ with the US.

Iraqi newspaper Al-Bayyinah al-Jadidah published a protocol reportedly signed by the US Administration and the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance.

Questions were put by Sa’d Rashid of Al-Sharqiyah TV, Dubai in a telephone interview.

The Iraq Council of Ministers discussed this protocol at an extraordinary meeting. But official comment from the Iraqi Government on the negotiations was not forthcoming, the paper said.

Question: ‘Could you brief us on the details of the protocol signed with the US Administration and the circumstances leading to it.’

Al-Juburi: ‘Proceeding from the fact that holding negotiations with the enemy is a prophetic practice and policy, and that any conflict between any two sides will eventually end in the two parties sitting together and reaching agreement to end their conflict – meetings were held between the US Administration and the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance.

‘During these meetings, a protocol was signed to organise the process of negotiations. It contained US Administration recognition of the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance. We considered this an accomplishment because we first believe in the policy of force and force of politics in achieving aims.

‘Second, forcing an arrogant and hegemonic enemy like the United States to sit with the resistance proves that the resistance has accomplished a large part of its mission and forced this arrogant enemy under its crushing blows to sit with it and recognise it as a resistance movement and not as a handful of terrorists or outlaws as it has always claimed.

‘We believe that negotiations are not an alternative to military action. Military action will not stop until the last US soldier has left Iraq.

‘Negotiations are only an attempt to obtain some of the usurped rights of our people.

‘However, having found that the US side is not serious about achieving the aims, ambitions, and desires of the Iraqi people as presented to the Americans in the form of conditions set for negotiations, we suspended this effort’, the Iraqi resistance leader said.

Question: ‘You said the protocol was signed to organise the process of negotiations. Will this lead to other negotiations conducive to an agreement with the United States?’

Al-Juburi: ‘We wanted this protocol to be an introduction to engaging in negotiations with the US side, but due to US procrastination and lack of seriousness in meeting the demands and conditions we presented, the meetings stopped.

‘Resuming them depends on the US side’s agreement to accept the conditions we presented.’

Question: ‘Could you brief us on the most important points of this protocol from the security and political points of view and the future?’

Al-Juburi: ‘It was agreed that the US Administration would recognise the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance as the representative of the resistance.

‘Hence, this council will negotiate in the name of the resistance and demand the rights of the Iraqi people.

‘Moreover, it was agreed not to leak the details of this protocol except with the consent of both sides. We can talk about this issue but not the details of meetings about which agreement was reached. We are committed to protecting our agreements because this is part of our principles and ethics.’

Question: ‘We are not asking you for full details, but the most important clauses of this protocol.’

Al-Juburi: ‘Yes, we sum up the demands we made but they could not meet.

‘Demands were divided into parts, each containing many details, but we can sum them up in main points.

‘The first calls for an official apology by the US Administration to the Iraqi people and for compensating all Iraqis who sustained moral and material damage.

‘The second calls for reforming the crooked political system in Iraq; striking a balance among state institutions and all entities of the Iraqi people; changing the sectarian constitution, which seeks to rob Iraq of its Islamic and Arab identity; cancelling the Electoral Commission; and correcting the current situation in Iraq.

‘The third calls for releasing prisoners and detainees, returning the displaced to their homes, and compensating them for the harm inflicted on them as a result of that.

‘The fourth clause calls for rebuilding Iraq because we hold the United States responsible for sabotaging Iraq and destroying its infrastructure. Therefore, it has to undo the damage and rebuild the country.’

Question: ‘Is there a reference in this protocol to the security agreement signed between Iraq and the United States?’

Al-Juburi: ‘Yes, the security agreement is perhaps one of the axes of reforming the situation in Iraq. A relevant clause was not published because we agreed not to mention the details. More than 30 demands were made in the detailed parts.’

Question: ‘Was this protocol signed behind the back of the Iraqi Government?’

Al-Juburi: ‘Yes, we did not want the Iraqi Government to be involved in these negotiations because we wanted to negotiate with the decision-maker in Iraq, which is the US occupation.

‘We consider the Iraqi Government an agent of this occupation. Therefore, its master is the one who decides for it. Accordingly, we rejected its participation in these negotiations.’

Question: ‘We are still waiting for a reply from the Iraqi Government. What you say expresses an opinion we convey but not adopt.

‘Could you tell us who exactly in the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance negotiated with the Americans?’

Al-Juburi: ‘The Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance is a well-known body. It negotiated with the Americans through a delegation authorised to do so.

‘It is well known that the council is made up of Iraqi resistance factions and it does not split up its work. The entire council was engaged in this process.’

Question: ‘Who on the US side negotiated with the Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance?’

Al-Juburi: ‘A delegation made up of American diplomats and two military men negotiated with the council.

‘The US military participated so that they would know in advance if a military agreement was reached. What is important is not who came but the fact that those who came were authorised by the US Administration.

‘We refused to sit with them before they admitted in writing that they were authorised by the US Administration to honour what we would agree on. This was signed in an internationally acceptable manner.’

Question: ‘Will the signing of this protocol lead to your participation in the next elections?’

Al-Juburi: ‘No, it has nothing to do with the elections. The Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance studied the issue of elections and consulted with people of expertise and specialisation and decided not to participate in the upcoming elections because these elections, like the previous ones, will be held on a wrong basis and not a correct one that can lead to results that serve Iraq and the Iraqis.’

Question: ‘Did you contact any Iraqi politicians to tell them about this protocol with the US side?’

Al-Juburi: ‘We have not contacted the Iraqi Government because we do not consider it a sovereign or legitimate government that can make decisions.

‘It came through fraudulent elections and the political process was built on a false basis.’