Sadr Praises Iraqiya Amid Claims Iran Opposes Alliance

Sadrist Faction Denies Claims Iran Warned Sadr Away From Irbil Meeting

Following a recent meeting in Damascus, Syria, influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr continues to praise the rival Iraqiya bloc, suggesting that his religiously dominated Iraqi National Alliance may still form a partnership with the secularist Iraqiya.

Sadr’s prospective alliance with Iraqiya leader Ayad Allawi may seem unlikely, but the two appear to have found some commonality in their nationalism; both are determined to see Iraq stand as a comparatively independent nation.

Yet Sadr’s supporters in the Iranian government are reportedly none too happy with this development, and are said to have warned Sadr away from a meeting in Irbil on the grounds that he was “getting too close to Iraqiya.” Iran is said to be favoring a second term for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Members of Sadr’s political bloc have denied that this was the case, and added that neither American nor Iranian agendas would be followed at the expense of the national interest at any rate. Though the talks still seem very early in the going it seems that the Iraqiya-INA government with Maliki relegated to the opposition remains a very real possibility, albeit one of many.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.