"Washington threatened to use any means to seize Iraqi assets if we do not support the security pact..."
Washington has threatened to seize Iraqi assets and oil money if Baghdad rejects a controversial US-proposed security pact, Iraq says.
Upon arrival in Iraq from Washington, President Jalal Talabani told reporters that he is concerned over Washington threats.
"Washington threatened to use any means to seize Iraqi assets if we do not support the security pact," Marsadiraq quoted Talabani as saying.
Washington currently seeks to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Baghdad to give legal basis to its military and political presence in oil-rich Iraq after a UN mandate defining its status expires on December 31.
While there have been indications that the proposed pact may conditionally require US troops stationed in Iraq to leave the country by the end of 2011, it does not necessitate a withdrawal unless Baghdad can fully restore stability in the country.
The deal has been severely criticized by prominent Iraqi political and religious figures, who say it would undermine the country's national sovereignty.
In late August, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to denounce the agreement. The security deal will allow permanent American bases in the country and will grant US personnel immunity from prosecution inside the bases. The Americans, however, would be liable for prosecution outside their bases.
As controversy surrounds the proposed pact, the US may not be able to convince Iraq to sign the agreement. On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament declared that any deal should take Iraqi interests into consideration.
Maliki warned that US pressure would only create a political discord inside the Middle Eastern country and threaten the democratically-elected government.
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