Clarification On Abdul Aziz Al Hakim

Clarification on Abdul Aziz al-Hakim and the Interim Governing Council

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim gave a news conference, according to al-Zaman, in which he clarified rumors that he might resign from the Interim Governing Council. Apparently he might do so, but would be replaced by his son, Muhsin. Abdul Aziz said that the IGC is a national institution, which he helped create, and that he would continue to support it. Whether he kept his own seat or not, he said, was a technical matter. Al-Zaman represented informed sources close to the al-Hakims as saying that he might wish to devote himself full time to running the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which he now heads in the wake of the assassination of his older brother, Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim.

Al-Zaman, it should be noted, often puts a sunny face on complicated news. It seems to me that for Abdul Aziz to step down from the IGC is some sort of protest about the lack of security that killed his brother. He was able to serve on it when head of the Badr Corps and deputy leader of SCIRI, so simply running the organization is not an object. Having his son step in for him on the body allows him to protest, and to demote the IGC in significance as part of his protest, without going so far as to completely undermine it or risk losing US patronage for the Shiites.

Meanwhile, the Shiite militias appear to have heeded US demands that they get back off the streets of Najaf.

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