Saturday, June 21, 2008

Iraqi Official: Hizbullah Behaving as though it is a Neighboring State

Beirut, 21 Jun 08, 11:40

A senior Iraqi government official believed Hizbullah of Lebanon was acting in Iraq "as if it was a neighboring state."
The official, who requested anonymity, said Iran also believes it has the right to "directly interfere" in Iraqi affairs despite objection by the majority of the Iraqi Shiite leaders.
"The problem is with both Iranian and Hizubllah interference in Iraqi affairs," the official said. He said Iran was exerting "strong pressure toward blocking the (security) accord and preventing it from moving forward, just as Hizbullah which has Shiite influence in Iraq started to exert pressure against the agreement."
This was a reference to the proposed mutual security agreement between the United States and Iraq that is intended to serve as a Status of Forces Agreement after the United Nations Security Council authorization for U.S. troops to be in Iraq expires in December. The draft security agreement will reportedly be finalized in early July. The Iraqi official said the draft will soon be signed "whether Iran agreed or not."


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