After the announcement by Iraqi and US officials that the deadline for the handover had been set for June 2004, Sistani said that those people presently in charge of Iraq were ‘not entitled to name the members of the assembly charged with drafting the constitution – [as] there is no guarantee that such a convention will draft a constitution upholding the Iraqi people’s interests and expressing their national identity, founded on Islam and lofty social values.’ (MEED 24:11:03)