Rotating head of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council Jalal Talabani announced on 27 November that he will meet with leading Shias to discuss the details of the US-drafted handover plan. Talabani's announcement came a day after the head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, announced that senior Shias - including Ayatollah Ali Sistani - in Iraq foresaw 'real problems' with the US plan for a transfer of power to Iraqis, scheduled for June 2004. 'This is an opportunity to discuss the details of the plan, to inform [Hakim] of the process and to inform him that the coalition and the Interim Governing Council went to great lengths to address his concern that the constitution be from an elected body,' Talabani's son told Reuters. 'We are not convinced that his so-called reservations are in fact that, since they are being relayed by third parties.'
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)