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Iraqi Shiite Politician Dismisses Need for Loner US Presence

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TEHRAN, July 6 (ICANA) – Iraqi forces are fully able to maintain security in the country, a member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq said, underlining that there is no need for an extended US military deployment in his country.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 7:48:33 PM
Iraqi Shiite Politician Dismisses Need for Loner US Presence

"The security and military forces are now able to establish security in their country, and there is no need for the US troops' presence in Iraq," Seyed al-Furat al-Shar told FNA on Wednesday.

Al-Shar said that the US has changed its mind about the pullout specially because of the recent popular uprisings and political developments in the region and now wants to keep its forces in Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline.

He said this is not the United States, but the Iraqi parliament and political groups which should decide if the country's police and security forces are capable of maintaining security and if a longer US military presence is needed.

On Monday, Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh categorically denied speculations that Baghdad is going to strike a deal with Washington to extend the presence of the US troops in Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline.

"The report is a sheer lie since no action has been taken in this regard and the government of Iraq hasn't singed such a deal with the US," Dabbagh told FNA in Baghdad.

US Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey has recently said that the US is ready to keep thousands of troops in Iraq beyond the end of the year if asked.

The Washington Post quoted Jeffrey as saying that the Obama administration would consider a request to keep some of the roughly 46,000 US troops in Iraq.

Most US forces are scheduled to leave by year's end as part of a three-year security agreement, while about 17,000 US diplomats and private contractors would stay back.

Late in April, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced that Iraq no more needs the US forces to protect its internal security, and underlined that his government will not bow to the pressures exerted on Baghdad to accept an extended US military mission in the country.

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