London, Damascus, Asharq Al-Awsat- A member of the Iraqi National Coalition, led by Ammar al-Hakim, revealed that Iran is exerting ‘increasing pressures’ upon al-Hakim and Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadrist Movement, and al-Hakim’s partner in the coalition, to accept the nomination of Nuri al-Maliki, leader of the State of Law Coalition and outgoing Prime Minister, for a second term in office. According to the source, al-Sadr threatened that, because of these pressures, to leave Iran and settle in Lebanon.
The source told Asharq al-Awsat that al-Sadr “had told the Iranian leaders that his refusal to accept the nomination of al-Maliki was a matter of principle and was irreversible, even if it meant leaving Iran and going to stay in Lebanon”.
Furthermore, Iraqi sources revealed in Damascus that Moscow had become involved in the crisis surrounding the formation of the new Iraqi government, and has supported an ‘Iraqi version of the Taif meeting’(1989 Saudi-sponsored talks that help end the Lebanese civil war). Russia proposes to hold a meeting for the victorious [Iraqi] political blocs in Damascus, under Turkish coordination and Arab sponsorship, so as to prevent the internationalisation of the crisis. The sources suggested that this meeting will be held during the current week.