Scholarly literature has generally considered the phenomenon of pro-democratic interventions from the perspective of state-sovereignty, the prohibition of the use of force, and the principle of non-intervention. A human rights approach has remained underexposed to date, even though new manifestations of pro-democratic intervention seem to conflict with the right to self-determination of the local population. The main purpose of this article is to explore the (in)compatibility of the right to political self-determination on the one hand, and new appearances of alleged pro-democratic intervention on the other, thereby using Operation Iraqi Freedom as a test case. The case of Iraq will demonstrate how processes of political transition as part of 'pro-democratic' interventions can endanger observance of the core meaning of the right to political self-determination. More generally, it will be argued that a fundamental tension exists between both concepts.