The form a new government was to take in postwar Iraq was a topic being hotly debated in June 2003. In April 2003, the United States appointed retired Lieutenant General Jay Garner to be in charge of postwar administration until a transitional government could be selected; however, on 1 May, a civilian, L. Paul Bremer, was named to direct the selection of a transitional government and take control of other functions being overseen by the U.S. military. The United Kingdom and many European and Arab nations favored a civilian alternative to military occupation, and those states expressed support for a central role to be played by the UN in postwar Iraq. Many Iraqi Shiites, who make up some 60% of Iraq's population, protested the U.S. occupation, and the United States warned Iran of meddling in Iraq's affairs. The political future of the Kurds in northern Iraq was also uncertain as of May 2003.