SAM: "America's leverage in the negotiations may be under threat"
The same recorded piece as the 6/13 International World News one.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a potentially make or break development for the U.S. mission in Iraq, the Iraqi government is considering passing its own laws dictating what U.S. forces will and will not be able to do, rather than signing a U.S. agreement. With the United Nations mandate for the war soon expiring, Washington and Baghdad are intensely negotiating an agreement to regulate the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq.
But in a move likely to impact upon the race for the U.S. presidency, Iraqi lawmaker,Haidar al-Abadi, a senior aide to Iraq's prime minister, says Baghdad may choose to not make an agreement at all.
HAIDAR ABADI, MALIKI ADVISER: And I think everybody now is recognizing, including probably the American administration, we're saying now, we don't have to sign this. We can do without it. But, we need something in place to regulate the existence of U.S. forces on the Iraqi land.
WARE: Effectively blunting the U.S. war effort and possibly ramming unpalatable terms down the throat of the next American president. With indications from Iraq's prime minister that the talks are deadlocked, America's leverage in the negotiations may be under threat as its regional rival, Iran, is standing by to replace Washington's training, equipping, and intelligence-sharing in Iraq.
Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.