Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

UK Special Representative for Iraq Returns from Baghdad

UK Special Representative for Iraq Returns from Baghdad

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, just came back from Baghdad where he spent a year as the senior British representative. He is a career diplomat, and before being in Iraq, he was the former British Ambassador to the United Nations. During his short visit in France, Sir Jeremy granted an exclusive interview to Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief, France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. (Excerpt aired on Soir 3's Edition).

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: Thank you for receiving us Sir Jeremy. My very first question deals with Iraq, a country that you just left a few days ago. The situation there is getting worse and worse. In such a chaotic context, do you think the transfer of sovereingnty to the Iraqis as it is announced for the end of June can still occur or is this what we do call in French  "un vœu pieu " (a sort of whisful thinking) ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: I think we have to accept that there would be violence in Iraq for some time to come.. But most of the violent incidents are being perpetrated either by those left over by the Saddam regime - who are quite small in number - or foreign terrorists who are also quite small in number. And both those groups are resented and opposed by the majority of the Iraqi people. So increasingly, we need to "iraqiise" the security services and persuade Iraqis to oppose the presence of violence in their society.

But these things take time and with modern terrorist methods, it's very difficult to stop everybody getting through. We have picked up a large number of people involved perpetrating these incidents, but I am afraid, there would be a continuous era of violence for a little time to come.

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: Aren't you fearing on the ground an Alliance that never existed before between Sunnites and Shias against Coalition Forces ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: Not as such. It is not an alliance as it is organised, but there are apart from the two groups that I mentioned, there are quite a number of Iraqis who feel that in some point they must show their resistance to the occupation. And they join in an instant and they decide to go back to normal life. So, in that area, if there is growing frustration, more people will join the violence. But if they see that the economy is improving, jobs are coming and money is coming, they go back to normal life. But between the Sunnites and the Shias, there is some great conspiracy to join together in violence.

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: How seriously do you consider the way the Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr is threatening the Coalition Forces when he says: "Don't touch to Kerbala, these holy Iraqi places, otherwise, it will be terrible for you" ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: Muqtada Sadr doesn't own Najaf or Karbala. He doesn't speak for the people of Najaf. He doesn't speak for the religious Shias Community. He has been asked by the senior sheiks - and he is not one of them - to come down and stop ruling the prospects for the wider Shias Community. But he is a local problem in Najaf. He had disobeyed the law himself. The authorities of Iraq must keep law and order. And Muqtada Sadr must be handled according to the law, but he is not, in my view, a wide spread problem within the Shias Community.

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: French President Jaqcues Chirac declared this morning, let me quote him: "There won't be any reconstruction in Iraq unless a real transfer of sovereignty under the control of the United Nations is done". The fact that the U.S. intend to keep commanding military operations will lead to a problem with the Iraqis. Do you also share this view ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: No, I rather agree with the principles which the French President has announced on this. We do need to see a clear change on the 30th of June. And the Americans, I am sure, agree with that. But the real change is going to come with the elections at the end of the year or in the early 2005. That's when there will be a new National Assembly which really will start legislating for the sovereign Iraq. And allow us, please, those who are observing this process to move in stages will have difficult times with the occupation.

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

OK, let's not argue about the past. We want Iraqis to take over. It's the Iraqis - the Ayatollah Ali Sistani himself - who said: "Don't let non-selected Iraqis take over with any strength"!

So we are moving in stages towards the elections and it would be good these elections should be held under a period of full Iraqi sovereignty. There will be a change in mid-year and I think the criteria which the President has laid on will be fulfilled.

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: Sir Jeremy, you are certainly among the most qualified people to speak about Iraq, after your unique experience on the ground. Do you personnally fear today a first risk of partitioning there between the Kurds, the Shias and the Sunnites, ending by a Civil War ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: I have never felt that there was a risk of civil war because the Sunnites, Shias and Kurdish communities have never been opposed to each other on block.

There have been different and serious incidents coming out of each community and clearly, there needs to be more work to bring the communities together in a unified Iraq but in the governing Council, I saw a remarkable unity around the table in taking the political process forward together and if that is an example of how different politicians from different communities can work together, I think that's a good one.

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

If there was no hard violence in Iraq, if we can deal with that problem, I have absolutely no doubt that Iraqis who want to work together on the political, economic and social spheres - and I didn't see the seeds of civil war. If it went bad, there would be local places going wrong and being violent, but there won't be a great outbreak of civil war. That's my prediction.

Christian Malar, Editor-in-Chief of France 3 TV Corporation. Paris, April 29, 2004. © Photo E-S.

Christian Malar: Isn't utopic to believe we have a real chance to impose our own model of democracy, according to our values, to countries such as Iraq, like George W. Bush seems to want it ?

UK Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock. © Photo E-S.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: The British have too much experience in their history of working with other Nations to believe that the Iraqis can ever have a political structure that is not Iraqi and not regional in its nature, nor Islamic in its nature. They must recognise the value of the Kurds who are also Muslims - they are not Arabs - and I don't think in their make-up, but Iraq will be a true unit between Sunnites and Shias unless the Kurds are also involved. But the culture, traditions, history of Iraq, the national pride of Iraq will be expressed in their political structures. It may not be what we feel about a perfect democracy, but the United Kingdom took eight hundred years to get to this point, and France has taken more than two hundred years to get to this point. Let's give them a bit of time!

Christian Malar: Thank you very much Sir Jeremy for granting us this interview.

Sir Jeremy Greenstock: Thank you Christian.

 

 

 


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin





Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

Contact