Interview released by Awni al Kalemji to "Il giornale"
Awni al Kalemji is spokesman of the "Iraqi Patriotic Alliance" (IPA). Parts of the interview were reproduced in the lead article in "Il giornale" of August 2, 2005.
Q: How do you comment the declaration of Romano Prodi about the immediate withdrawal of the Italian troops in case he would be elected prime minister?
Awni al Kalemji: The Iraqi resistance welcomes with satisfaction the declaration of whom is considered to be the next prime minister of Italy.
The withdrawal of the Italian troops does meet not only the sentiments of the Iraqi people but of all peace-loving people. We did not want the war. It was Bush who wanted it. And as long as they occupy our country we have the right to fight to regain our national sovereignty.
Q: What do you think of the fact that for the first time a political leader explicitly spoke of "occupation troops"? Prodi said: "The Italian military will be withdrawn as occupation troops."
As far as I know Prodi was not the first. Also other European leaders did say it. However, these declarations are the result of the successes of the Iraqi Resistance. As the Resistance forces the Americans more and more into the defensive its political legitimacy is growing - while is formal legitimacy is guaranteed by the charter of the United Nations and all the international conventions.
Q: What is the position of the Resistance on that declaration? What do you respond to Prodi?
We hope that Prodi, once having assumed office as prime minister, will keep his promise to withdraw the troops and to make Italy a friend of the Arab nation.
Q: Would you welcome a change of the Italian government?
Obviously yes, but it is not our aim to interfere with Italian internal affairs. This is what the US is doing.
Q: Do you think that the Italian presence in Iraq is linked to the risk of bomb attacks in Italy as is being discussed these days?
The Iraqi Resistance is operating in Iraq, it is fighting to chase away the invasion armies. It is not in the interest of the Iraqi people to kill innocent civilians, neither does it regard Europe as a war theatre.
Q: What you thing of the bomb blast of London?
We disapprove it. We know what terror means, we have suffered from it for twenty years as the American policy was targeting first of all innocent civilians. We will not forget the indiscriminate killing during the massacre of Falluja. We are decided to through these war criminals out of our country. Also for this we will not fight like them and we will not let us blind by hate.