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Iraq Election Results


February 15, 2005

Dan Williams: In the last few minutes, Iraqís election commission has said the final results of the countryís first free vote will be known tomorrow but the announcement comes with the backdrop of continuing violence. A suicide car bomb exploded today south of Baghdad killing 18 people and injuring another 25 and in Basra a prominent Iraqi judge has been assassinated by two gunmen, his body guard was seriously hurt. Joining us live now from Washington is an expert on the region and on terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq, Alireza Jafarzadeh. Very good evening to you; Many thanks for joining us. What are your expectations tomorrow?


Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, I think if things would go well as they have planned, they will come up with announcing the results of the elections and it seems with all the reports coming that the Shiites would dominate this; the United Iraqi Alliance might very well have the upper hand, the majority of the votes, then other lists come in second and third such as Ayad Allawiís party and Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawer, the presidentís party.


Dan Williams: What sort of government, what sort of formation do you think is most likely that we will see?


Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well, I think it all depends on what the future formation of the National Assembly will be. I think this is the biggest challenge ahead. If the vast majority of those who are going to be in the National Assembly are actually close to Iran, supported and sponsored by Iran, then you would see a tremendous effort on their part in order to draft a constitution that would make the Islamic Sharia laws its central element, the same way that it is run in Iran. But if that is not the case or that they are not a majority the vast majority, then I think there is a chance to see a more nationalistic, a more secular agenda ahead of Iraq, and I think this is very crucial.


Dan Williams: What would happen to the region, what would it mean for the region if we were to see an Iraq similar, a similar power to that that exists in Iran?



Alireza Jafarzadeh: Well I think that is definitely a nightmare scenario, because the world and the region already has enough problems with Iran and what they are doing in terms of their support for terrorism, in terms of opposition to peace in the Middle East, in terms of inciting violence in the region, what they have already done in Iraq. So if Iran succeeds in erecting a sister Islamic Republic next door in Iraq, then it would really be like a super Iran. They can have an impact on the whole Islamic world, the whole region, and as King Abdullah of Jordan said that this is going to have tremendously negative effects; keeping in mind that Iran is very close to getting a nuclear bomb. There are estimates ranging between one year to three years away from getting the bomb, so you donít want to see that kind of situation happening.


Dan Williams: Alireza Jafarzadeh, many thanks for talking to us.


Alireza Jafarzadeh: Thanks, very much.

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