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Iran: US must leave Iraq quickly Tuesday, 26 August, 2008

Posted by Farbod in News.
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Press TV – Iran: US must leave Iraq quickly.

Ataollah Salehi

An Iranian commander says American troops must leave Iraq before they sink too deep in the quagmire Washington created in the country.

The US must anticipate an embarrassing withdrawal should Washington continue to delay troop pull out, said Major-General Ataollah Salehi.

His remarks come as the US and Iraq have held secret talks over a controversial security treaty, known as Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which seeks to prolong the presence of US troops in Iraq after a UN mandate expires in December 2008.

The deal has sparked outrage among political and religious Iraqi leaders as well as Iraqi ordinary people who consider the agreement as an infringement of the country’s sovereignty.

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmud Mashhadani said Monday that Iraqi lawmakers would not approve the treaty.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told tribal leaders in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone that the two sides had reached an agreement on the issue.

“There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date which is the end of 2011 to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil,” al-Maliki said.

He added that the Status of Forces Agreement was unlikely to be adopted should certain clauses remain unchanged. He, however, did not specify the clauses.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto, however, rejected fixing the deal on Monday and said that the agreement had not been finalized yet.

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