Powell ready to accept theocracy in Iraq
Washington, May 16. — In what could be a major policy reversal, US secretary of state Gen. Colin Powell yesterday indicated that the USA "will have to accept" a theocratic leadership in Iraq if the elections lead to such a situation, while stressing that the American troops will stay for a "considerable period."
In separate television appearances, Gen. Powell, who is attending the World Economic Forum in Jordan, also refused to comment on reports that defence secratary Mr Donald Rumsfeld had okayed the Abu Graibh prison abuses, but insisted there should be a "greater sense of outrage in the Arab world" on the murder of American citizen Nicholas Berg.
Gen. Powell said: "We will have to accept what the Iraqi people decide upon." In comments broadcast today in CBS's Meet the Press programme, Gen. Powell also cautioned that any future Iraqi government will have to respect basic human rights.