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June 2, 2004 3:00 AM

Brahimi: Bremer the `dictator of Iraq' in shaping Iraqi government

Lakhdar Brahimi, wrapping up his U.N. mission to bring an interim government to Iraq, looked a little tired and disheartened Wednesday as he said the compromise he negotiated was the best possible under American control. When the U.S.-appointed Governing Council announced this week that it had selected a new prime minister, Brahimi seemed to be caught flat-footed. The man tapped for the post, Iyad Allawi, has close ties to the CIA. Almost immediately after being named prime minister, he called for the United States to keep its troops in Iraq, a position unpopular with many Iraqis. Asked how big a role the American administration had in forming the government and selecting the prime minister and president, Brahimi reminded reporters that American Ambassador L. Paul Bremer runs things in Iraq. Bremer is the dictator of Iraq, he said. He has the money. He has the signature.

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