25 December 2005
25 December 2005
Tehran, Iran, Dec. 23 – The editorial of Iran’s leading hard-line daily hailed the outcome of Iraq’s parliamentary elections as “the creation of the first Islamist state in the Arab world”, and warned against “American plots” to prevent the formation of the new Iraqi government by Iranian-backed Shiite groups.
“Of the 275 seats in Iraq’s new parliament, 140 will belong to pious Islamists, 60 will be occupied by Kurds with excellent ties with Iran, and 40 will belong to Sunni Arabs, most of whom want a sovereign, Islamist state”, the daily Kayhan’s Saturday editorial noted. “The new government – including the President, the Prime Minister, the cabinet, the armed forces and the judiciary – will emerge from this new assembly”.
Kayhan which reflects the views of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, wrote the election outcome will “increase pressures, both inside and outside the U.S., on [President] Bush to withdraw American troops from Iraq”. It went on t say, “Bush will have to give in and withdraw the bulk of his forces from Iraq in the next few months”.
The paper listed the consequences of American withdrawal from Iraq, describing the current situation in Iraq as “the biggest crisis United States has faced in recent decades”.
“The American defeat and withdrawal from Iraq will forever bury the Neoconservative current in the U.S.,…while the formation of an Islamist state in Iraq, which will be a natural ally of the Islamic Republic of Iran and will form a contiguous link between Iran and Palestine through Syria and Lebanon, will bring about a sea change in the geo-strategic balance in the region in favor of Iran and to America’s detriment. This new alliance with its huge size will directly influence all developments in the Arab and Muslim Middle East”.
Kayhan’s editorial said American officials’ recent statements on election irregularities in Iraq were aimed at forcing the pro-Iranian Shiite groups to give concessions. “They [the Iranian-backed Shiites] will not accept this”, the paper wrote.
“The Americans have no choice but to leave Iraq and this must happen in the next few months”, Kayhan wrote. “Today’s Iraq shows the two sides of the Middle Eastern coin: the victory of Islamism, and the defeat and flight of the West”.