October 2, 2009 |
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki unveiled today his coalition of religious, secular and tribal parties that will run in national elections this winter. With his announcement, the prime minister put himself in competition with fellow Shiite Muslims of his onetime political ally, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. The split between Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party and the SIIC was unthinkable four years ago when the country's Shiite religious majority stood united in a bid to solidify its control of Iraq after years of suffering under the Sunni-dominated regime of the late dictator Saddam Hussein.
August 27, 2009 |
The death of political and religious leader Abdelaziz Hakim on Wednesday heralded a new era of uncertainty in Iraq's Shiite Muslim politics as the country heads toward national elections early next year. Hakim, who headed the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, died in a Tehran hospital after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 59. The Shiite leader was a towering figure in the Iraqi political landscape after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. He led a coalition of Shiite parties to victory in the 2005 elections while juggling his close relationships with both Washington and Tehran.
August 25, 2009 |
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki broke ranks Monday with the Shiite Muslim coalition that propelled him to power in 2006 and appears set to contest January's national elections on his own, opening the door to a new, uncertain era in Iraqi politics. Maliki was conspicuously absent from a gathering of Shiite leaders launching the Iraqi National Alliance, a revamped version of the coalition that easily won the elections in 2005 and is hoping to garner a majority of Shiite votes in January.
November 9, 2008 |
Iraq will serve as an early test of Barack Obama's skill in weighing options and measuring risks. The next few months should give an indication whether he can end the Iraq war without risking new violence that could threaten U.S. interests throughout the Middle East. Ending the war, which the Congressional Budget Office says costs $145 billion a year, would fulfill an important campaign promise and free up military resources for the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
June 16, 2008 |
Members of Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr's political bloc announced Sunday that the group would not compete as a party in coming local elections but would endorse candidates. The decision appeared aimed at allowing the Sadr movement to play a role in the Iraqi elections despite a government threat to bar the bloc from fielding candidates if it did not first dissolve its militia.
June 8, 2008 |
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki traveled Saturday to Iran on a mission to improve relations between the countries at a time when U.S. officials have accused Tehran of arming Shiite Muslim militia groups fighting the Americans and Iraqi security forces. Maliki, who was expected to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today, is on his third visit to Iran since taking office in May 2006. His trip comes after fighting this spring in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra pitted Iraqi security forces against the Mahdi Army militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr.