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Bush Rejects Delay For Iraq Power Transfer

Crawford, Texas; 10 April 2004 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush today rejected again calls to delay the 30 June date that the United States has set for transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.

In a scheduled weekly radio address, Bush said that his government will confront all challenges to U.S. efforts to establish a new government in Iraq.

He said that minority factions in Iraq are seeking the delay to prevent the United States from bringing democracy to Iraq.

Bush said that diehard followers of deposed President Saddam Hussein led some recent attacks on U.S. forces and he condemned Shi'ite Muslim leader Muqtada al-Sadr who he said has mobilized "a band of thugs" to terrorize Iraqi police and citizens.