We've looked far and wide, and we've finally found someone outside of Iraq who is happy with the draft constitution written by the Shiites and the Kurds: Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati.
Jannati heads Iran's ultra-conservative Guardian Council, and -- like the president of the United States -- he seems pleased as punch about what passes for progress in Iraq. Speaking in Tehran Friday, Jannati said: "Fortunately, after years of effort and expectations in Iraq, an Islamic state has come to power and the constitution has been established on the basis of Islamic precepts." He offered his congratulations to the "Iraqi people and authorities for this victory."
Not all Iraqis are in the mood to accept the ayatollah's congratulations, of course. Ghazi al-Yawer, one of Iraq's two vice presidents and the highest ranking Sunni in the interim government, warned in an interview with Knight Ridder that the constitution will subject Iraq to a "dictatorship of the majority," and he said that he would vote against it in October. "The Iraqi national identity is diminishing more and more, and this constitution is not helping that,'' Yawer said.
If you're a hard-line Iranian cleric, the loss of Iraq's "national identity" isn't such a bad thing, especially if it means that your one-time rival may become more closely aligned with you. That's plainly what Jannati sees coming in Iraq, and he says the work on the constitution there should inspire other justice-seeking peoples elsewhere. The constitution underscores the fact, he says, that the countries of the world "have no model other than the Islamic revolution in Iran to turn to."