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- Section : Iraq
Baghdad / Obelisk: The New York Times said that Muqtada al-Sadr may emerge as an ally of Washington in order to form a new government.
In a clip captured by the newspaper, al-Sadr raised his finger to focus on carefully designed notes to send messages to both the United States and Iran after his party won seats in last week’s parliamentary elections.
In 2004, al-Sadr fought US forces in the streets and alleys of Iraqi cities.
The newspaper described al-Sadr as an Iraqi nationalist who is likely to emerge now as an ally of the United States.
In the preliminary results of last Sunday’s elections, the Sadrist movement obtained results that make it the largest bloc in Parliament and a decisive vote in choosing the next Iraqi prime minister.
Al-Sadr said in the speech broadcast on Iraqi state television: From now on, weapons must be restricted in the hands of the state, and the use of weapons outside the framework of the state must be prohibited.
He said that even for those who claim that they are resisting the American presence, it is time for people to live in peace, without occupation, militias, kidnappings and fear, as he put it and as stated in the newspaper report.
The United States agreed to withdraw all combat forces from the country by December 31, although Washington does not consider its forces there to be currently on a combat mission.
“Al-Sadr has changed, and I think to some extent we underestimated him at first,” said former State Department official Nabil Khoury, who served in Iraq in 2003.
He continued: Al-Sadr was contacted in 2003 through his aides, and the first governing council in Iraq was determined.