Yesterday, the United States officially responded to the proposed amendments to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) submitted by the Iraqi government. The exact terms of the response were never made public, but officials have said the US accepted some amendments while rejecting others. US officials have said they have concluded with considering amendments to the SOFA.
The Iraqi government seems to want more discussions on the deal, and barring that the SOFA appears unlikely to go far with the Shi’ite majority government as several prominent Shi’ite clerics used their Friday sermons to condemn the deal as it presently stands.
The opposition came from all corners, with Sadr loyalists and Ayatollah Kadhim al-Husseini al-Hairi condemning the SOFA, in addition to a top aide of the influential Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has not briefed politicians on the response and has reportedly cautioned officials against talking to the media about it. One anonymous official told the Associated Press that “we didn’t get everything we wanted.”