The Egyptian international law counsel Hasan Umar told Aljazeera.net he believesthat if Ragad Saddam Hussein and former Iraqi officials form a rival government, they would shorten the life of the "Iraqi occupation".

“A government in exile would be a threat to the Iraqi interim government of Iyad Allawi that would prevent him from continuing to grant privileges to the US-led occupation forces,” he said.

 

“Many former Iraqi officials are living outside Iraq, and can help in forming and exile government, which will help a lot in stopping the US plans in the region.”

History lessons

Comparing the current Iraqi interim government to France’s 1940 Vichy government, he said there are many lessons to be learned from history.

 

“Who liberated France from the Nazis? It was De Gaul’s government in exile, not the Vichy government which was installed by the Nazi occupiers,” Umar said.

“A government in exile would give Iraqis the chance to choose instead of accepting one choice delivered by the occupiers”

Dr Dhafir al-Ani, Iraqi political analyst

Aljazeera.net spoke to Saddam’s cousin and one-time bodyguard before his 1995 defection. He said that he is ready to announce a government in exile if there is an Arab or Muslim country willing to host it.

“The problem is Arab and Muslim states think that such a step means an anti-US act, and since the world is terrified from the US in an unprecedented way, it is not possible to take such a step in the present time,” said Izz al-Din al-Majid.

 Choice

Iraqi political analyst Dhafir al-Ani said a government in exile would give international players the chance to ask the US to consult the Iraqi people.

“Rulers have been imposed on Iraqis, first the Governing Council, and now the interim government. A government in exile would give Iraqis the chance to choose instead of accepting one choice delivered by the occupiers," said al-Ani.

Saddam Hussein’s defence lawyer Muhammad al-Rashdan said the move deserves deep consideration.

 

“We will consider the formation of a government in exile from a legal point of view, if we sensed it useful to built our case in defending the legitimate president of Iraq Mr. Saddam Hussein, we will back it with all our might,” al-Rashdan said.