Iraqi MPs pushing for JASTA-like move ‘represent their personal views’

A US Army soldier handcuffs suspected al-Qaeda members in Baqouba, Iraq, Sunday, July 8, 2007. Some 33 suspects were arrested in a joint US and Iraqi overnight raid Sunday. (AP)

Iraqi parliamentarians, who are pushing for a move similar to that of the Justice against the sponsors of terrorism act (JASTA) in the United States, merely “represent their personal views,” Haider al-Mulla, a leader in the Al Arabiya Coalition, said.

After the Congress approved JASTA, US politicians overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of the proposed bill. When it comes into effect, JASTA would allow US citizens to sue Saudi Arabia over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, threatening to encroach on sovereign immunity, an important principle in international law.

“Today, there are opinions coming from some MPs, representing their personal views and not reflecting the stances of their political blocs,” al-Mulla told Al Arabiya English.

The parliamentarians, who have “started requesting passing a law” to finally allow Iraqis to file cases for compensation from the United States following the damages due to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, “face a slew of legal challenges.”

One of the foremost of these challenges is that the US forces have been guaranteed immunity.

In late 2011, Iraq witnessed the withdrawal of US forces from the country after a deal signed by the government of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, which “gives legal immunity for US forces.”

The 2008 US–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement gave full immunity to contractors working for the US State Department and other American agencies in the course of their duty.

The news of how some Iraqis want to pave a similar route to JASTA surfaced after an Iraqi lobbyist group - the Arab Project in Iraq - on Sunday pressed on the country’s parliament to ask for US compensation in light of JASTA on the behalf of Iraqi civilians who suffered major losses after the toppling of late President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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