April 27, 2003

IS IT MORNING IN THE MIDDLE EAST?

Democracy in Iraq will benefit the entire region: analyst (Islamic Republic News Agency, April 27, 2003)
"The present circumstances in Iraq creates a historic opportunity for bilateral Iran-Iraq legal ties to be reviewed and reiterated upon," said As'ad Ardalan, an expert in international law who spoke here concerning the legal aspects of the war in Iraq.

In an exclusive interview with `Iran News' published Sunday, Ardalan said: "We should do our utmost to receive the just compensation our country is owed by Iraq as a result of the brutal aggression suffered by this nation in the hands of Saddam Hussein."

Now that the war is over, he said Iran can play an important role in Iraq's reconstruction. Iran would clearly benefit from a democratic, peaceful and secure neighbor such as Iraq, he added.

"Iraq will forever be our neighbor and should try to develop amicable relations with that country," he said.

He maintained that a long-term military administration of Iraq by the US is highly unlikely, adding that the aim of General Jay Garner's administration is to increase pressure on Iraqi forces opposed to Saddam to quickly form a new government that is in line with American interests.

Ardalan further said that the immediate objectives of any US-installed interim administration in Iraq would be the deBaathification of Iraq, the arrest of Saddam's henchmen, signing of lucrative reconstruction and oil contracts with powerful US firms without resort to international tenders and, last but not least, trying to frighten Iraq's neighbors by flexing the American military towards the neighborhood.

On the anti-American protests in Iraq over the past few days, the jurist said: "I doubt very much that these protests will result in a crisis between the Iraqi nation and the US. Moreover, the Bush administration is weary of confrontation with the people of that country since such a development would give ammunition to certain groups and organizations to take advantage of the situation. If such incidents persist, Iraq is sure to become an unstable and insecure place for the Americans."

This could all be coincidence, but it does seem like there's more sensible commentary coming from the Middle East the past couple weeks. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2003 9:51 PM
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