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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 May, 2004, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Press fears over Iraq future
Arabic press graphic

The press in Iraq and the Arabic world reflects fear and uncertainty as the man chosen by the Iraqi Governing Council as prime minister, Iyad Allawi, begins talks on forming an interim government to take power on 30 June.

While one Iraqi daily puts out a rallying cry for politicians and fighters to pull together for the good of the country, another expresses doubts that the incoming government will enjoy any success. A third argues the Shias face extinction unless they fight to ensure survival.

Elsewhere in the Arab world, commentators are pessimistic.

Now we have little time left before the take-over, it is imperative that all democratic-minded, non-violent political forces in Iraq, both within and outside the governing council, close ranks and move forward in unison, in agreement with the forces engaged in armed resistance to express their rejection of the occupation, on condition that the latter give up violent resistance.

Commentator in Iraq's Baghdad

Every day that passes brings new facts which belie promises made the day before. The forthcoming caretaker government may yet be another of these false promises, not very different from its meek predecessor, the Interim Governing Council, which had clearly washed its hands of Iraqis long before they washed their hands of it. One cannot but wonder what is it exactly the Americans want from Iraq?

Iraq's Al-Sa'ah

Why are Shias getting killed? Who is shooting them dead? The answer is clear, and the killers are known to everyone: Wahabis, al-Qaedaites and residual Saddamists. But why are we warned there are red lines beyond which we are not to go if we choose to retaliate? These are the same lines drawn up by British colonialists who installed puppet rulers in the capitals of neighbouring Arab countries. We have finally come to the crucial point where we have to make a fateful choice: either to announce total surrender and collective extinction, or take up arms and fight against the forces of darkness until our rights are acknowledged. And unless we opt for the second choice, then we might as well say good-bye to the Shias of Iraq.

Iraq's Al-Bayyinah

There are those who believe Iraq has become a lesson, which will keep US force in check. There is no leader, whatever his popularity or influence, who will be able to depend on US power any longer, unless compelled by extreme circumstances... The truth is that the Iraq crisis will be harmful and dangerous to all for a long time to come, unless the sovereignty of Iraq is restored. If teaching the Americans a lesson is necessary, then that lesson has already been learnt... This is the right time to plan for a stable Iraq so that it does not turn into another Afghanistan.

London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat

The unfolding events in Iraq confirms that Iraq is heading for a major explosion, disaster and bloodbath, not a transfer of authority or a return to sovereignty.

Egypt's Al-Akhbar

The dirty war in Iraq is increasing the gulf between Muslims and the West.

Headline in London-based Al-Hayat

Developments in Iraq show the unilateralist bent and aspirations of those involved... Working through the UN might help avert many problems in Iraq.

Saudi Arabia's Al-Jazirah

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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