Al-Maliki’s Coalition with Al-Sadr ‘Angers Americans’


Amina Yunis
Iraqi News Agency
October 12, 2010

On Wednesday, the Americans broke a week-long silence about Nouri al-Maliki receiving the blessing of Muqtada al-Sadr for a second term as prime minister. American Ambassador James Jeffrey expressed great concern about the coalition formula backed by Tehran, which prompted al-Maliki to respond personally, saying that Jeffrey’s information was inaccurate.

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In the meantime, a member of the al-Sadr faction described the concerns of the U.S. ambassador about a Sadrist-Maliki coalition as a continuation of the mentality of occupation.

Informed sources expect al-Maliki’s opponents to exploit Washington’s fears to maximum effect. Ambassador Jeffrey said of al-Sadr that he’s no different from any of the others who are obstructing Iraqi democracy. In televised remarks, Jeffrey said that any formal role granted al-Sadr by the Iraqi government would, negatively affect the emergence of a strategic partnership between Washington and the Baghdad government.

This is the first indication from Washington about the coalition formula being championed by Tehran, which was achieved with great difficulty after America preferred to attempt to create a constructive relationship between Maliki and the leader of the Iraqi List, Ayad Alawi [who won the most votes in the March election].

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But Qusay al-Sahil of the al-Sadr faction wasn’t surprised by the American reaction, describing it as to be expected. Al-Sahil said, “We always knew that whether it was Jeffrey or some other U.S. official, they would act in accordance with the mentality of the occupier, which of course we reject.”


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