Opposition Leader Goes Back to Iraq

From Associated Press

Returning to his homeland for the first time in nearly five years, an Iraqi opposition leader entered the Kurds’ autonomous enclave with the help of Iran and declared Friday that he would stay there to battle Saddam Hussein’s government.

“If we want to fight Saddam, we’ll fight Saddam in Iraq,” Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress, said in an interview.

Chalabi said he returned to Iraq “to be on the stage” for the formation of a post-Hussein government. He promised to work with Kurdish opposition groups to form a provisional government if Hussein is deposed.

Chalabi, who enjoys support within the U.S. Congress but is a controversial figure within the fragmented opposition, entered Iraq with four colleagues Thursday.


They crossed the Iranian border at Hajj Omran after spending a week in Tehran meeting with Iranian political leaders and Iraqi opposition figures.