Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 1, 2004

Nomination of interim regime under vigilant US security

The Occupation Authority today celebrated in Baghdad the nominations to the next Interim Government, which President Bush and his assistants kept reassuring everybody that it would be fully independent and with full sovereignty. Arab TV channels showed a particularly suggestive scene where private American security men armed with machine guns stood vigilant on the stage and around corners of the hall while one was shown peeping out through closed window curtains.

Sheikh Ghazi Ajeel al-Yawir, a relative of the head of Shammar tribe was chosen as president, and the cabinet nominations were announced. Octogenarian politician, Dr. Pachachi, appeared unusually nervous in a press conference where he told journalists he was initially nominated for the presidency but, "some members of the Interim Governing Council spread a false rumor that I was nominated by the Americans, which made me reject the post," adding that some members were opposed to my nomination for certain motivations," he said, adding that it was the other nominee, Mr.Ghazi Ajeel al-Yawir, that was nominated by Americans. Dr. Pachachi gave the impression that he considered American support to nominees to be an insult.

Ayad Allawi, the newly US-picked Prime Minister thanked in a policy speech the coalition countries, led by America, for "their sacrifices to liberate Iraq," and said his government needed their help to "provide security".

al-Arabiya said this government will face the consequences of the flagrant mistakes committed by American occupiers, many as they were. "The whole council of ministers from the Prime Minister to any other minister will be slavish to administration of the American occupation in Iraq. al-Jazeera TV said many Iraqis look to the new government as following the same sectarian and ethnic division line of the last governing council. It added that many Iraqis think highly of the new President al-Yawir, on account of his well-known tribe. However, this post is almost ceremonial and the true power, if any, lies with the Prime Minister who was not similarly received.

Resistance marks nomination with 'fireworks'

The Iraqi resistance marked the nomination of the newly US-picked government with fireworks. It staged an attack on the main headquarters of a pro-occupation Kurdish party near the main headquarters of the American occupation command and foreign ministry in Baghdad. Several explosions were heard inside the Green Zone and smoke columns were seen above this area where the main American command is based.

Another attack was launched on an American military camp in Baiji, north of Baghdad, where a booby-trapped car was exploded at the entrance to the camp, killing and injuring many American and Iraqi soldiers. The American occupation spokesman said one soldier was killed in the western Anbar province.

New regime 'dubious', its credibility 'zero'

Mahmoud Uthman, a member of the now-defunct Interim Governmening Council, said if the situation in Iraq continues as it's now, the credibility of the new government will be zero. quoted him as saying that Americans are giving everybody the impression that they want to control everything after June30, for if they wanted to leave they would have acted differently.

Dr., spokesman of the Assocition of Moslem Ulama[scholars], dismissed the new government as a dubious one which is not different from the now defunct Interim Governing Council. He was quoted by al-Jazeera as saying the Americans had the main role in nominating it, which will deprive it of the support of the Iraqi people and the ability to lead Iraq out of the present state of affairs.

Cutting ration food basket after trucks looted

The Iraqi Ministry of Trade announced that it would cut down the ration food basket which had been initiated by the former Iraqi government. It was provided for the last 14 years, for a nominal price, to help people face the catastrophic effects of the UN sanctions that were proposed and kept in place by the United states and Britain. A Ministry spokesman was quoted by Islamic news agency as saying that food trucks were exposed to looting and plunder in the Basrah port and along the way from Basrah to Baghdad.