Blair jumps the gun on Iraqi veto

Tony Blair jumped the gun yesterday when he unequivocally promised that the new government in Baghdad will be able to exercise a veto over controversial US-led military operations after the handover of sovereignty on June 30.

The prime minister, trying to address widespread scepticism in the Arab world and Europe that the transfer of power will be genuine, said: “Let me make it 100% clear, after June 30 there will be the full transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqi government.

“If there is a political decision as to whether you go into a place like Falluja in a particular way, that has to be done with the consent of the Iraqi government and the final political control remains with the Iraqi government.”

Mr Blair’s words go significantly further than the stance of Washington. The US secretary of state, Colin Powell, spelled out the US position, stressing that if they disagreed with the new Iraqi authorities on certain operations, “US forces remain under US command and will do what is necessary to protect themselves.”

It was left to Downing Street officials to insist that the remarks applied to British forces, though not necessarily to US troops.

[Source: The Guardian]

So, in the end of the day, the Iraqis will have full sovereignty, they just shouldn’t interfere with what’s going on in the country.

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