Monday, March 31, 2008

Good to See the US' Influence Remains Strong Among Our Allies

Will Bush thank the Iranians for helping to avert yet another disaster in Iraq? From CNN.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iran was integral in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to halt attacks by his militia on Iraqi security forces, an Iraqi lawmaker said Monday.

Haidar al-Abadi, who is with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa Party, said Iraqi Shiite lawmakers traveled Friday to Iran to meet with al-Sadr. They returned Sunday, the day al-Sadr told his Mehdi Army fighters to stand down.

News of Iran's involvement in the cease-fire talks came as an al-Maliki spokesman said operations targeting "outlaws" in the Shiite stronghold of Basra would end when the mission's goals were achieved. Earlier, al-Maliki spokesman Sami al-Askari said the operation would be over by week's end, but he later recanted on the timetable.

The lawmakers who traveled to Iran to broker the cease-fire were from five Shiite parties, including the Sadrist movement. Al-Abadi would not say where in Iran the meeting was held...

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