During the past five years, members of the American military as well as private contractors have been virtually exempt from being able to be charged or tried for any criminal offense by the Iraq government. The Status of Forces Agreement(SOFA) protects both the military and private contractors from being held responsible in an Iraq court of law for any criminal action on their part. Foreign Minister Zebari made clear his nation no longer would tolerate such a relationship such as the notorious incident in which Blackwater personnel killed 17 Iraqis who had not caused any provocation. He was pleased the United States government now agrees to the principle that the 160,000 private contractors and their personnel would now be subject to Iraqi law.
Zebari indicated his government is examining the status of American military personnel in nations like South Korea or Japan or Germany and what are the legal ramifications when military personnel violate local law. He wants Iraq to have similar rights in relationship to the presence of foreign troops on their soil.