Thursday, April 15, 2004

The New York Times has a story today about the role an Iranian delegation has had in getting Sadr to back off his attacks in the city of Najaf.

The house-to-house fighting that has gone on in Najaf has has been bloody. A several day cease-fire allowed the Iranians to help negotiate an end to the hostilities.

According to Juan Cole, Sadr will apparently be temporarily exiled to Iran until a stable government can be established. Once that happens, he would return to Najaf to face trial for the murder charge that prompted the U.S. action to apprehend him.

The Iranian involvement is something that has received little attention, despite appearing to be very essential in finding a negotiated solution to the fighting in Najaf.

Hopefully, this stepping down of hostilities can influence some of the other hotspots in Iraq. Some are dedicated foreign fighters, and others are former Bathists, but the more moderate elements may hopefully see this as a positive step. If the Great Satan (the U.S.) is willing to allow Iranians to mediate a solution that will benefit everyone, perhaps others will be willing to work with the U.S. and U.N. in stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq.

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