RealNews

Shiites May Demand Lifting of Limits on Their Power

Iraq’s most powerful Shiite leaders kept up the pressure on Tuesday for changes in the interim constitution they signed on Monday, hinting that they may entangle the next phase of the American political timetable here, choosing a transitional government, by continuing their push for fewer constraints on the powers of the country’s Shiite majority. One of several Shiite leaders who voiced his discontent on Tuesday was Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, widely regarded as the most powerful of the contending Shiite clerical groups. Mr. Hakim is backed by a powerful militia known as the Badr Brigade, which was an Iran-based insurgency group during Saddam Hussein’s years in power. He is close to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Iranian-born cleric who has emerged as the Shiites’ behind-the-scenes kingmaker. Full Story

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