AFP: Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar accused Iran of orchestrating attacks in his country and declared his
opposition to a threatened assault on the rebel hotbed of Fallujah, in an interview published Monday.
"Iran is playing a negative role in Iraq. It is behind the assassination of more than 18 Iraqi intelligence officers. It is also playing a negative role in southern Iraq," Yawar told Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper. AFP

KUWAIT CITY - Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawar accused Iran of orchestrating attacks in his country and declared his opposition to a threatened assault on the rebel hotbed of Fallujah, in an interview published Monday.

"Iran is playing a negative role in Iraq. It is behind the assassination of more than 18 Iraqi intelligence officers. It is also playing a negative role in southern Iraq," Yawar told Kuwait's Al-Qabas newspaper.

The Iraqi president is in Kuwait on a three-day landmark visit, the first by an Iraqi head of state to the oil-rich emirate, which was invaded an occupied by Iraqi forces in 1990-91. He leaves Monday for Bahrain.

Yawar said he opposed any military solution to the situation in the rebel-held Fallujah city, one day after Prime Minister Iyad Allawi issued an ultimatum to the city to surrender insurgents or face an all-out assault.

"I totally differ with those who believe there is a need for a military solution to the (Fallujah) issue.

"The management of the (US-led) coalition of the crisis is wrong," Yawar said, describing it as like the man "who shot his horse" to scare a fly, resulting in the fly escaping and the horse's death.

The coalition should continue to have "dialogue until the arrival of Iraqi troops... This will encourage neutral citizens to stop sympathizing with the rebels, most of whom are Saddam Hussein loyalists and forces which came from outside Iraq," Yawar said.

General elections will be held on time in January, Yawar said "unless international observers say it cannot be held due to technical reasons."

A religious government will not be able to achieve stability because "if it is Shiite, Sunnis will not accept it and if it is Sunni, the Shiites will not accept it," he said.

"The best solution is to have a civil state," where all are equal before the law, Yawar said.