October 12th, 2008
06:19 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama did not ask to delay security agreement, Iraqi FM says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/12/art.obamaphi.gi.jpg caption="The Iraqi foreign minister weighed in Sunday on a stateside campaign trail controversy."]BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama did not urge Iraqi officials to delay a decision on a security agreement with the United States, Iraq's foreign minister told CNN on Sunday.

The statement by Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari refutes a recent published report and a statement by Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin that Obama tried to influence Iraqi politicians negotiating with the United States to score political points.

Fact Check: What did Obama tell the Iraqis?

Obama "never, ever discouraged us not to sign the agreement," Zebari said. "I think this was misrepresented, and I have clarified this case in a number of interviews back in the United States recently."

The Washington Times reported Friday that in June, Obama told Iraqi leaders in Baghdad that an agreement between the United States and the leaders to allow U.S. troops to stay in the country after 2008 should not go into effect unless it had congressional approval.

The newspaper quoted Samir Sumaidaie, the Iraqi ambassador to the United States, about a June 16 telephone conversation between Zebari and Obama.

But the article did not contain a comment from Zebari.

The campaign of Obama's Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, argued that Obama's call interfered with U.S. efforts to reach a "status of forces agreement" with the Iraqi government. The United States and Iraq have yet to announce an agreement despite numerous reports that one was near.

During a Friday fund-raiser in Madeira, Ohio, Palin said Obama tried to influence the negotiations "in a way that would set back America's cause there, while advancing his campaign here."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iraq • Sarah Palin
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. jennie

    it's sad the American people believe in fear rather than hope. They believe lies rather than the reality. The nation is no longer strong and honest anymore because too many people here live in denial. I can't believe people are so forgiving for a liar like Palin.

    October 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. johnrj08

    John McCain and his running mate are single-handedly bringing down the Republican Party. I have mixed feelings about the demise of our 2-party system, which is supposed to help keep elected officials honest. But they have turned the system on itself to suit their own political ambitions. When McCain faced that ignorant woman at his rally two days ago who said she couldn't trust Obama because he was an "Arab," McCain had finally come face-to-face with a monster of his own making. At that point, it was already too late for him to start toning down the rhetoric. When he loses this election by an inevitable landslide, I wonder what he'll say in his concession speech to try to repair his greatly damaged reputation.

    October 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Larry

    McCain/Palin campaign – the straight LIE express. It is a shame that Sen. McCain has stooped that low by resorting to lies and smears. Sen McCain used to be an honorable man; now its anything goes for him. He will say anything and do anything (including fanning the flame of hatred and racism) to win what he considers as his entitlement.

    October 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. Bucky

    Her campaign of lies last week was based on reading parts from newspapers.Excellent judgement for someone who is a heartbeat away from Presdiency if McCain was to win.Nice vetting McCain.Way to put "Country First" while picking a candidate that puts gossip first.

    October 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Steve

    Another day, another lie. Will this ever end.

    October 12, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. DCMata

    Palin talks hate- all the time! McCain talks hate- most of the time!
    It will help McCain only with the most radical Americans
    who have serious unrealistic conspiracy theories to begin with!

    October 12, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. Tommy T

    More lies from the ticket that has nothing else to offer.

    October 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. Ruby

    The more they try to grasp at straws the deeper they sink.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08!

    October 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. April

    It is a shame that McCain/Palin ticket lying is causing foreign officials to have to refute her statements. If McCain/Palin is elected no one will ever have faith in any statements regarding foreign policy made by the US Administration.

    Americans do not wish to be percieved as a Nation of Liars

    Vote Obama/Biden 08

    October 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Overseas Obama supporter

    The nation has had 102 major-party tickets covering 51 presidential elections over more than two centuries. And we've never had a ticket in which both candidates on the same ticket were responsible for ethics violations before a national election. McCain/Palin is the first.

    It makes the whole "reform" pitch a little more difficult, doesn't it?

    October 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |

    this is typical of the republicans and john mcsame: say anything, do anything, lie their behinds off and putting country last to win an election!

    john mcsame have zero credibility from here on out – this man is the same as george bush!!!!

    October 12, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. pittpa

    Media should not publish any stories from McCain/Palin until they are proven to be true...Why is the media creating all this unnecessary drama at times like this? Isnt the media's job to publish the truth and let people decide for themselves? I guess these days it's a matter of who will sale more stories despite the fact most of them might not be true. I suggest to the media not to publish any story unless it has been proven to be true! we dont need drama, all we ask for is the truth.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. Michael B

    Zebari is one of the least trustworthy people in Middle-Eastern politics. If Obama made an under-the-table agreement, of course Zebari is going to deny it.
    Obama/Biden: Each voted twie for the "bridge to nowhere"

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Rational Thinker

    Well, I will be supporting Obama. McSame should kic Palin if he has any brain cells left.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. John, Flagstaff, AZ

    Talking about Iraq. Iraq should not even be the subject of discussion. The Iraqi scientist living in Germany whome the US claimed as credible source for WMD stated that the US never talked to him. Everyone in approving and pushing the Iraq war should be publicly hanged. Unless we resort to some drastic measures, politicians and CEO' will continue to squander our money. I am sick of this rotten and corrupt country. Palin and the abuse of power issue, 20 years prison and hard labor in Anwar.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Moonshinee

    McCain And Palin are just liers there tryingg too make the United States racecis against obama i hatee themm !!!!

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Lionel

    For McCain/ Palin, desperate moment requires desperate acts, and the campaign would do and say anything at this point to overcome the political deficit the campaign accumulated with their confused and erractic messages. John McCain, who I admire when he an in 2000, has become a cynical and out of touch from the demand of the American public. Truth be told, at 72, McCain does not have it anymore. He has done for the country, he deserves a peaceful and fulfilling retirement.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. ready for change


    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  19. Cal

    Well atleast McCain have several cards to play. All Obama, Lewis, and democrats got is the race card. it's been played so much it's old. Luckily, I'm a minority so the guilt trip don't work on me, lol.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  20. Perri

    What is this woman doing? Before she was the VP pick she was singing Obama's praises. It's so amazing to see how quickly she is willing to do and say absolutely anything to win this race. She and the McCain campaign know these are flat out lies, yet they are continuously spitting them out. This is indicative of the type of presidency we will have under McCain. If you have to lie and cheat your way into the white house then you shouldn't be there. Just look at George Bush, he lied and cheated his way in and look at the state of our country. Please America, don't be fooled again. Our future rests in the hands of each president we choose to lead us. We chose wrong the last time. Let's not do this to ourselves again.

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Chuck

    That lying on the part of McCain, and, especially Palin has got to stop.

    Who are they being controlled by? It only makes them look like puppets dangling at the end of strings. Who are those puppeteers running the Republican campaign?

    McCain and Palin need to be more selective and discriminating as to what they are spouting. No more lies, false attacks, distractions etc.


    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Bill

    When is someone going to call out McCain on the Honor Code and conduct umbecoming? Isn't it enough that he lied to Letterman about where he was and what he was doing?

    October 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. Marvin

    Obama/Biden, Please put the nails in the McCain/Palin coffen. It's obvious McCain/Palin will do anything to win the White House! McCain, Where's the honor!

    October 12, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  24. Len in Washington

    The problem with Palin is that she has NO knowledge of Foreign Affairs and simply relies on her "RNC Approved Staff" to provide her with talking points. Can you imagine what this could all be like if she and McCain actually got elected and networks and agencies weren't fact checking anything?
    We'd have George Bush....again...

    October 12, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  25. atlsan69

    Another lie by the person who abuses her power.


    October 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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