TEHRAN (FNA)- A top Iranian military official urged the Iraqi government to reject a proposed security deal with the United States, saying approval of such an agreement would be a "disgrace" for Iraq.
Lieutenant Commander of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, General Masoud Jazayeri, said in a statement that Iraq should oppose the strategic framework deal with the US.
The US is in talks with Iraqi officials to get them to sign a provocative security agreement which secures long-term US presence in Iraq.
The agreement would allow the US to set up 14 military bases across Iraq, authorize a long-term military deployment, give legal immunity to US nationals and allow the use of Iraqi land, sea and airspace to launch attacks to other countries.
It also gives the occupation forces a free rein to stage military operations wherever and whenever they deem necessary, without consulting the Iraqi government.
Iran opposes the security talks, saying the presence of American forces in Iraq causes regional instability.
Tehran is concerned that the yet-not-concluded security deal could lead to establishment of permanent US bases in the neighboring country.
The controversial agreement has drawn criticism from many Iraqi officials, lawyers, religious and political figures across the country.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most revered religious leader in Iraq, has also rejected the security agreement with the US, saying such a deal will undermine the country's sovereignty.
Many fear Washington has plans to keep permanent bases, despite a denial of any such plan written into the proposal. Iraqis say the drafts submitted by the Americans thus far would infringe on Iraq's sovereignty by giving US forces too much freedom to operate.
The security pact also faces strong criticism from members of al-Maliki's own coalition. Two Iraqi officials familiar with the negotiations have warned that a deal is unlikely to be reached before the end of President Bush's term in January unless Washington backs off some demands seen as giving American forces too much freedom to operate in Iraq and infringing on Iraqi sovereignty.
Iraq's parliament must approve the deal, and the two officials said opposition in the legislature was so widespread that it stood no chance of winning approval without significant changes in the US position.
And Obama needs more troops//// I wonder if he's sittin in with Chaneybush === aye er eh?