Tags: al sadr iraq

Tensions in Iraq Ahead of Al-Sadr Speech

Friday, 07 Jan 2011 09:36 AM

BAGHDAD - Lawmakers across Iraq's political and ethnic spectrums waited Thursday for word from anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, saying his first address after returning from nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran would likely say a lot about his intended approach to Iraq's fragile new government, The Washington Post reports.

Late Thursday, a spokesman at Sadr's office in Najaf said the cleric would deliver "a very important speech" Saturday at his home outside the Shiite holy city.

After months of shifting political alliances finally produced a new government late last year, most Iraqis are still gingerly feeling their way forward. Some voiced cautious optimism that Sadr would seek to bolster the fledgling government - even Sunnis who had battled the cleric's Mahdi Army militia and later charged that the Sadrist-controlled Health Ministry had murdered Sunni doctors.

But most groups were hesitant to say more, and that palpable sense of apprehension - coupled with a national military holiday that shut down the government and emptied the streets - produced the effect of an entire country pausing to weigh the impact of the cleric's surprise reappearance Wednesday.

The mood also stood in stark contrast to the growing confidence displayed by Iraqi politicians in the two weeks since the creation of a unity government unleashed a flurry of political activity.

Read the entire story at >washingtonpost.com

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BAGHDAD - Lawmakers across Iraq's political and ethnic spectrums waited Thursday for word from anti-American Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, saying his first address after returning from nearly four years of self-imposed exile in Iran would likely say a lot about his intended approach to Iraq's fragi
al sadr iraq
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2011-36-07
Friday, 07 Jan 2011 09:36 AM
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