Sistani Favors Brahimi Plan
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, according to UN sources, approves of the transition plan of Lakhdar Brahimi for Iraq, which consists of establishing a caretaker Iraqi government on June 30 and then holding elections no later than January of 2005. Sistani at this point fears social chaos above all else, and wants the Muqtada issue settled and elections held as soon as humanly possible. He holds that without elections there can be no legitimate government in Iraq.
Brahimi has been holding extensive talks with Iraqi notables, including Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
AsiaNews profiles the disputes among Iraqi Shiites over Sistani’s unwillingness to take a public stand in the recent conflict between Muqtada al-Sadr and the Americans (he prefers to work behind the scenes).