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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Monday, April 21, 2008

Iran departing Sadr?

One of the more interesting reportorial undercurrents in the last week has been the growing intimation that the Iranians have limited/cut their support for Sadr in this latest Sadr/government flare up.

The most explicit expression I've seen is in this NYTimes story today which paints the Iranian pullback as a function of Sadr's Iraqi nationalism with the Iranians wanting the southern Shia superstate that Sadr rejects.

I don't know if, or to what degree, this is actually going on, (the Iranians may want to keep Sadr on the books as a later lever against the US,) but it is out there in traces, and it would mark a substantial shift in the regional politics.

Yesterday, (AFP) US spokesman in Iraq, Major General Rick Lynch, said the Iranians were still supplying Sadr.

(IRNA) The Iranians want it known that the US is seeking talks with them.

(Reuters) "In a statement on Saturday, Sadr vowed "open war until liberation" if the government refused to end a crackdown on his Mehdi Army fighters in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra."


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