Sadr Movement leader Moqtada Al-Sadr has announced a new alliance with the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) led by Ammar Al-Hakim, describing it as a â€œstrategicâ€ alliance.
In reply to a question from one of his followers about doubts in the alliance between the Sadrist Al-Ahrar Bloc and the ISCIâ€™s Al-Muwatin Bloc, Sadr said: â€œMany people have tried to end this alliance and make it a failure in any way they could.â€
He added: â€œThis alliance strengthens the Iraqi, national, Islamic Shiâ€™ite alliance,â€ and â€œmakes the political arena fairer and removes domination and monopoly.â€
This alliance brings together the two most important Shiâ€™ite factions in Iraq following an experiment that seems to be somewhat of a success on the local level, namely the sharing of power in a number of Iraqâ€™s governorates, particularly Baghdad.
Al-Ahrar bloc MP Mohammed Ridha Al-Khafaji informed Asharq Al-Awsat that â€œthe new alliance between ISCI and the Sadr Movement also includes the Kurds.â€ However, the leader of the Kurdistan Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, Fuad Maasoum, denied that the Kurds had joined any alliance.
Khafaji said: â€œThe meeting between the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), Massoud Barzani, and the political bureau of the Sadr Movement, discussed the basis of this alliance.â€
He added: â€œThe political bureau of the Sadr Movement has told Barzani that it rejects any extension in the terms of the three leadership posts, including that of the post of prime minister.â€
Khafaji stressed: â€œThe new alliance, which includes the Kurds, will not be against any one, including the Sunni front, because everyone knows that the Shiâ€™iteâ€“Kurdish alliance is a historic alliance.â€
The leader of the Kurdistan Alliance in the Iraqi parliament, Fuad Maasoum, denied that the Kurds had joined this alliance. Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Maasoum said: â€œThis issue was not raised by anyone, whether during the visit by Massoud Barzani to Baghdad and his intensive meetings with senior leaders and officials, or at the Kurdish leadership level.â€
He stressed, â€œIt is premature to talk about any type of alliances, and therefore, I confirm that there is no truth in any reports about this [alliance].â€
Commenting on Barzaniâ€™s visit to Baghdad, Maasoum said: â€œThe visit achieved its aims from all angles, and the most important thing about it is that the leaders agreed not to delve into the details and leave them to the joint committees.â€
He added, â€œBarzani was very satisfied with the meetings and the points which were discussed, and what had been achieved by all parties,â€ adding, â€œThere is agreement between the two main parties in Kurdistanâ€”the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)â€”on this visit and what was discussed. Everything takes place with the agreement of both parties, for the interest of the Kurdistan region and Iraq.â€