Thursday, April 20, 2006

Jaafari to step down?

There may be a break in the Iraq dealock.

Iraq's Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, whose nomination for a second term has held up forming a new government, said today that the Shiite Alliance should decide whether he should resign to end the deadlock. The Iraqi Sunnis, Kurds, and some Shia have declared him an unacceptable candidate for PM, largely because of his ties with Iran.

Jaafari reportedly revised his position hours before political leaders were scheduled to meet in parliament to try to end the impasse blocking the formation of an Iraqi government.

Obviously something new crept into the mix for Iran's Man in Baghdad to offer to step aside.

An official from the Alliance, which nominated Jaafari in an internal vote in February, read out a statement quoting Jaafari as saying his fate now rests with those who picked him.

"You have chosen me and I return back this choice to you to decide what you see appropriate," Jawad al-Maliki, an official from Jaafari's Dawa party, quoted him as saying.

"You'll find me totally prepared to accept your decision for the sake of the unity of the Alliance."

By leaving the decision to the Alliance, Jaafari passes the final say to Alliance leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, another Iran proxy.

Hakim, a leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, has kept a low profile as opposition to Jaafari grew, including from within the Alliance.

Could be that the Mullahs in Iran find that a change suits their needs. Or it might be that the US and Iran came to a clandestine agreement that allows the formation of a government Iran can live with, and one that allows a US pullout.

Or it could be an internal coup that has nothing to do with any of this.

Stay tuned...

No comments: