Leaks from international negotiations in Geneva confirm that a new nation will be created in southern Iraq, which will include the cities of Basrah, Najaf, Karbala, An Nasiriyah, Al Hillah, Ad Diwaniyah, Al Amarah and Al Kut. The GULCOFOR Zone will be added to Kuwait. The working name of the state is Sumeria. Iran will be forced to withdraw from all territory and will not be permitted to have any military relationship with the new state.
Teams in Geneva announce that they have agreed on the formation of the UN Provisional Authority of Sumeria, to be headed by former Dutch foreign minister, Max van der Stoel. Van der Stoel will be responsibility for overseeing the establishment of a new sovereign state.
A United Nations vehicle in Basra is set upon by protestors and torched. Two UN officials are killed before US forces intervene and rescue four others. UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar expresses shock and outrage at the violence, but expresses hope that the UN will be able to stay the course and improve the situation on the ground in Sumeria, as in El Salvador.
Max van der Stoel, the UN mission chief, announces the appointment of an Interim Governing Council in Sumeria. Key representatives include Ibrahim al-Jaafari, representing the Islamic Dawa Party, and Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Two grand ayatollahs, Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr and Ali al-Sistani, are also invited to send representatives. The US complains to the United Nations about the lack of secular representation.
A car bombing kills Ibrahim al-Jaafari, spokesman for the Islamic Dawa Party of Sumeria, in Al-Nasariyah. Max van der Stoel, the UN Representative in Sumeria, calls for peace between the various factions. He rejects suggestions that al-Jaafari has been assassinated by the CIA due to his close ties to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim is assassinated in Najaf. Analysts suggest that he may have been killed as retaliation for the recent death of the leader of the Islamic Dawa Party, Ibrahim al-Jaafari. Media report that Sumeria may be on the verge of a civil war, for, although both major parties want an Islamic government, some favour rule by the ulema and other support rule by the ummah.
A bomb detonates inside a police station in Nasiriyah, Sumeria, killing over fifty people. Fingers are pointed at Iran once again, with suggestions that Iran is desperately trying to prevent the United Nations from a successful transition. Iranian President Ali Khamenei formally denies any involvement by his country.
Protestors take to the streets of Basra to complain about the perceived delays in giving the country full sovereignty. The director of the UN Provisional Authority for Sumeria, Max van der Stoel, addresses the protestors, insisting that the process is ongoing but expressing “hope, with reason” that the country will be self-governing for the first time by the middle of 1988.
British Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister David Steel visits Sumeria to visit troops serving under the UN banner. He expresses grave concern over increasing violence within Iraq, with over one hundred people killed in the last two days.
A constitution is finally approved for the Republic of Sumeria, with a confirmation that sovereignty will be granted to the new state in July. The UN administrator, Max van der Stoel, appoints Abdul Aziz al-Hakim as the provisional Prime Minister of Sumeria, hoping sincerely that there will not be a third assassination.
Radical clerics in Sumeria reject the new constitution and call for the establishment of an Islamic state. The demand is rejected by UN authorities, who outline a plan for Sumeria to assume full sovereignty in approximately three months
The new flag of Sumeria is unveiled. In blue, black and white with Arabic text, it marks the start of an eight-week countdown to the establishment of sovereignty in what has come to be regarded as an incredible success for the United Nations.
Pro-Iranian militias stage an attempted coup d’etat against UN forces based in Basra’s southern suburbs. After six hours of conflict, it is confirmed that nearly two hundred people lay dead and hundreds more have been wounded. US President George Bush warns Iranian leader Ayatollah Hossain Ali Montazeri that any attempt to “turn Sumeria into the new Lebanon” will be met by “resolute action” by the international community.
Another coup attempt in Sumeria by pro-Iranian militias in Basra sees three hundred people killed and over one thousand wounded. This time, there are known members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard found dead among the militia, directly connecting Iran to the violence. The UN Security Council, meeting in New York, condemns the Iranian government for its failure to comply with its treaty obligations and withdraw all Iranian forces. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati states that Iran has been in compliance with the treaty and had withdrawn all uniformed forces immediately, but would withdraw all forces by the sovereignty deadline in late July.
New provisional Prime Minister of Sumeria, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, is subjected to an attempted assassination. Two of his guards are killed in the attack, as are a number of innocent bystanders. Al-Hakim’s survival ensures that he will lead the new government when it takes over in mid-July.
Sumeria becomes the 161st member of the international community, recognised as a sovereign nation by its neighbours. It commences its life as a member of Gulf Cooperation Taskforce. Its ceremonial head of state is Grand Ayatollah Sayyid al-Qasim al-Khoei, who lives in Najaf, but authority will rest with the new head of government, Prime Minister Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who will open the new Parliament in four days. Turnout for elections ranges from 68% to 78%, depending on the province, but there is no doubt that al-Hakim will have a majority.
Sumerian Prime Minister Abdul Aziz al-Hakim states that several members of the US Central Intelligence Agency have been detained in his country, stating that they were working with members of the Sumerian Navy trained as part of the Gulf Cooperation Taskforce. White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater states that the President is not aware of any such operation. Former CIA Director Richard Helms, appearing as a talking head to the media, states he cannot vouch for accuracy, but “if it’s true, it’s a shame they got caught”. The Brookings Institute suggest that al-Hakim may be attempting to divert political heat in Basra.