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Efforts to End Differences among Shi’ites in Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraq’s ex-premier Nuri al-Maliki (AFP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Baghdad – Efforts are being exerted to solve differences among Shi’ites in Iraq after the leader of the Lebanese so-called Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, tried to mediate to pressure head of Sadrist Movement Muqtada Sadr to unite the sect.

Nasrallah’s efforts came after head of Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq Ammar al-Hakim was elected as leader of the Iraqi National Alliance.

A source close to the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Hakim was chosen after an agreement was reached with Nouri al-Maliki, who was against Hakim.

Maliki believes that the seat of the head of the National Alliance should be filled by someone from his party. He added that Maliki insisted on maintaining the leadership of the alliance after Haidar al-Abadi was elected as prime minister without the approval of Maliki.

The source added that disagreements were heightened after Ibrahim al-Jaafari became Minister of Foreign Affairs. He also said that these differences caused the Shi’ite bloc to be completely inactive in political matters, despite attempts to change the status quo.

When asked how Hakim was chosen as leader of the coalition, the source said that the decision came after many debates between Maliki and Hakim which led to a deal for Hakim to lead the alliance for one year followed by another year by Maliki or another person of his choice.

The source believed that this is an attempt to unite Shi’ites after the Sadrist Movement suspended its membership in the political committee of the Shi’ite forces.

According to the source, Nasrallah, and upon instructions from the Iranian leadership, had pledged to bring Muqtada Sadr to the National Coalition.