i don't see much hope for peace after the hand over
The head of the Iraqi Governing Council, Abdul Zahra Othman Mohammad, also known as Izzedine Saleem, has been killed in a suicide car bomb attack.
A car burns after the blast in which at least nine people died
Up to nine others, including Mr Saleem's driver and assistant, were killed and eight others injured, including two American soldiers, when the bomb exploded outside the headquarters of the American-led coalition in Baghdad.
The blast destroyed three cars that were waiting at the checkpoint to the Green Zone compound.
Mr Saleem was the leader of the Islamic Dawa Movement, a Shia group based in the southern city of Basra.
He is the second member of the American-appointed governing council to be assassinated since the body was established last July.
He was one of the council members who hold the rotating presidency for a month at a time.
Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, broke off from talks in Brussels over the European constitution to express his "shock and outrage" about Mr Saleem's death.
"His murder was perpetrated by terrorists in Iraq trying to destroy the peaceful transition to a democratic, representative Iraq," he said.
Downing Street also condemned the attack. The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Mr Saleem had been working with his colleagues for the last year to give Iraq a future of freedom, democracy and security, all of which are rejected by the terrorists."
Ann Clwyd, Tony Blair's human rights envoy to Iraq, said she was shocked by the news. She described Mr Saleem as a gentle man and the last person she would expect to be targeted.