Iraqi opposition: We don't want American rule
The Jerusalem Post

25 March 2003

The leader of the biggest Iraqi opposition group said Iraqis would fight any US domination after Saddam Hussein is toppled.

"Coalition forces are welcome in Iraq as long as they help the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam's dictatorship, but Iraqis will resist if they (coalition forces) seek to occupy or colonize our country," Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, leader of the Tehran-based Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, said at a Tehran press conference Tuesday.

"Iraqi people will resist through all legitimate means, including the use of force and arms, if they (coalition forces) seek to dominate Iraq," he said.

US officials have said they envision a US military administration turning over control to an interim government of Iraqis within months of Saddam's fall and that they eventually hope to help build a stable democracy in Iraq.

Hakim said his party was consulting with other Iraqi opposition groups to discuss the circumstances after US invasion.

"All Iraqi opposition groups have agreed that the future government in Baghdad will be a national, federal, democratic government representing all ethnic and religious groups and will reject any other solution imposed from outside," he said.

Hakim said the war was the result of the international community's failure to help the Iraqi people peacefully rid themselves of Saddam.

He also warned that oil contracts signed between Iraq under Saddam and foreign countries may be reviewed or nullified after Saddam is toppled.

"If those contracts meet the interests of the Iraqi people, they will stand valid. And if not, we will enter into talks with the contracting party to meet our national interests," he said.