Muqtada al-Sadr Praises New Transition to an Iraqi Government
Young Shiite radical Muqtada al-Sadr, in his Friday Prayers sermon at Kufa, also praised the new program, saying that any step that restored sovereignty to Iraqis was a step in the right direction. He said that the decision of the US to move in this direction more swiftly was a response to his announcement of a shadow government on October 10. According to AFP/ al-Sharq al-Awsat, he continues to be a severe critic of the US.
He complained that the US was increasingly drawing on the talents of the former Baath secret police, saying it was wrong for the CPA to hire as policemen people with blood on their hands. “The United States is using intelligence officers who have blood on their hands. You cannot fight terrorism with terrorists.” (AFP)
Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei attacked the US in his Friday sermon, saying its rule in Iraq was worse than Saddam’s had been and that it was thwarting democracy. He also said that Iranian reformers were tacit allies of US corruption, whether they knew it or not. (I guess we all have our Joe McCarthys in this world.)
Khamenei probably just lost any popularity he had in Iraq, since most Iraqi Shiites are glad Saddam is gone and don’t feel more oppressed, and Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s position rejecting the rule of the clerics is actually closer to that of Iranian reformers than to the hardliners in Tehran.