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Iraqi Shiite opposition concerned over conditions in Iraq

Arabic News, 26 April 2000

Opposition Iraqi Shiite figures in exile expressed on Sunday their concern over a warning addressed by Washington against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, which gave no mention to the conditions of the Shiites in Iraq.

AFP quoted the Iraqi Shiite figures as expressing in a message addressed to US Undersecretary of State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk deep concern over Indyk's statements in which he set four red lines that Iraq should not exceed, or it will be repelled by the US. The message accused Indyk of not mentioning the critical conditions of Iraqi Shiites among the red lines.

The message added that this can be explained as a signal addressed to the Iraqi regime which means that the US will be soft towards the Iraqi regime's attacks against the Shiites in southern Iraq.

The message called upon the US to clarify its stand toward repression of the Shiites by Hussein's govvernment.

Earlier Indyk had stressed in Manama that Washington will respond if Iraq threatens its neighbors, rebuilds or deploy weapons of mass destruction, moves in the direction of the Kurds in the north or threatens the no-fly zones.

Among the signatories of the message were Saad Jawad from Jund (soldiers) al-Imam group, Sadeq Bah al-Oloum from the Independent Council for the Iraqis, and Muhammad Abdul Jabbar.