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SCIRI Abondons Relationship with Iran and Partners with Sistani

Allahpundit at Hot Air characterizes this as an atomic bombshell, and I'd say he's right. Here's why:

Huge news. To refresh: SCIRI is the name of one of Iraq's biggest Shiite parties, short for the "Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq." It was formed in Iran in the early 1980s by Iraqi Khomeinists with the goal of replacing Saddam with Iranian-style clerical rule. Since the invasion, it's presented itself as a peaceful, mainstream political party (successfully enough to earn its party leader, Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, a trip to the White House in December) while maintaining a militia -- the Badr Organization, a.k.a. Badr Brigades -- that functions as Sadr's only serious rival for Shiite paramilitary dominance. Having kept counsel with the mullahs through the years, they're widely suspected of being Iran's chief proxy in Iraq.

Allah wonders if the change is real:

The question of the hour is whether they're dropping the "R" and naming Sistani, who allegedly opposes Iranian-style rule by cleric, their spiritual leader because they've sincerely embraced democracy (Reuters says they're promising to add democratic language to their new platform) or whether it's a PR ploy to appeal to voters' patriotism by "Iraqifying" the party's image. Their main rivals, the Sadrists, are noisily nationalistic and, as I've mentioned recently, are reaching out to Sunnis to make themselves look even more so. The more "Iraqi" they become in the public's mind, the more "Iranian" SCIRI becomes by contrast, which will do it no favors come election time. So one possible explanation is that they're simply trying to keep up with Sadr by doing the same thing illegal immigrants did last year after the first few marches when they switched their Mexican flags for American ones.

More from Reuters:

Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite party will make key changes to its platform, party officials said on Friday, in a move that will increasingly align it with Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The changes could distance the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) from neighbouring Shi'ite Iran, where the party was formed in the 1980s to oppose the late President Saddam Hussein.

Under the new platform, the party would get its guidance from the Shi'ite religious establishment as before, but more from Sistani, SCIRI officials said.

That would mark a shift from SCIRI's current platform, which says the group gets its guidance from the religious establishment of Welayat al Faqih, led by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Iran.

Comments (20)

Color me hopeful, but skept... (Below threshold)

Color me hopeful, but skeptical.

You know, when Sistanin qui... (Below threshold)

You know, when Sistanin quit answering political questions last year in exasperation over Sadr the Lesser's influence, I wondered if he wasn't just going to start exerting even more of his spiritual inflluence. Now look who's over the border.

Sistani learned democracy from Jefferson and de Tocqueville because it is not mentioned in the Koran. The Islamic concept of justice resembles it, though.

I'll bet Juan Cole is having a cow.

I gotta go see what Scary h... (Below threshold)

I gotta go see what Scary has to say.

Dang, nuthin', and I'm stil... (Below threshold)

Dang, nuthin', and I'm still banned, and he's still hammering Tenet. Oh well, he crowed plenty when Sistani went back into the mosque, and I predicted this.

Have you abondoned your spe... (Below threshold)

Have you abondoned your spellcheck? (Feel free to fix the headline and delete this comment -- heaven knows I am not Mr. Spelling Bee)

Not too hot (pan-Shiaism)<b... (Below threshold)

Not too hot (pan-Shiaism)
Not too cold (Arab:Persian rivalry)
Just right (ground for a stable social order)

Mark well those who pull out secondary reasons to still bomb Iran. They'll be the usual suspects. Notable for their baby-soft hands.

Wow.Maybe with thi... (Below threshold)


Maybe with this new Surge coming up this month and the new strategy that has been employed for several months now, they've seen the writing on the wall, so to speak?

The primary reason, bD, has... (Below threshold)

The primary reason, bD, has always been to stop the madman, Ahmadinejad, before he Madly Assures Destruction of Israel. If sanctions work, fine. The mullahs are not mad, and they may be chagrined that their Arab buddies find more to like in Sistani than in Persia.

hu yoir fterw mkdgt hiy mml... (Below threshold)

hu yoir fterw mkdgt hiy mml opp sdaew gfdr vfrei khgfdr llkjh kt !!! Ain't that right bryanDirtbag.

Question for all you do-goo... (Below threshold)

Question for all you do-gooder liberals, especially the human-rights liberals...why is it that you never cheered when this country and its allies brought down a dictator that had butchered/tortured/maimed/murdered his own people?

At the very least, the VERY least, that's what we did. I keep hearing about how he left wants to go marching into Darfur to stop that genocide. So where the hell were you when it came to Saddam?

kim==, Why do you think Ahm... (Below threshold)

kim==, Why do you think Ahmadinejad is a "madman"?
Hell, Deadeye Dick shot a man in the face then ran in the house and refused to come out. All lights must be turned on before he enters a hotel suite. But of course, you'll say Cheney's not "mad", so why would Ahmadinejad be?

jhow666, STILL raining??? Zip one of those plastic covers over your mattress. You can float to safety.

Cheney doesn't want to dest... (Below threshold)

Cheney doesn't want to destroy the world for Allah, and Ahmadinejad does.

You know, you are cute, but sometimes you are just so obvious that you bore. You could have left this one alone and done just as well. Or linked to music or something worth while.

Steve of Norway:<i... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Steve of Norway:

At the very least, the VERY least, that's what we did. I keep hearing about how he left wants to go marching into Darfur to stop that genocide. So where the hell were you when it came to Saddam?

The removal of Saddam was a good thing, definitely. He as about as nasty as they get.

"Or linked to music or some... (Below threshold)

"Or linked to music or something worth while.-kim"

Be careful what you ask for! Behold the beginning of the end of Neocon Reality...and You Are There!


Why am I not surprised you ... (Below threshold)

Why am I not surprised you like George Galloway, criminal henchman of Saddam.

And tell me more about this... (Below threshold)

And tell me more about this Shia 'hierarchy' bullshit you threw around about Sistani and Sadr.

Your poster Kim refers to t... (Below threshold)

Your poster Kim refers to the British MP George Galloway as a criminal henchman of Saddam, on what is this slur based? for someone to be a criminal they must be tried by a court of law and found guilty of a crime, George Galloway has never been been found guilty of any crime.
What he has done is bring to light the criminal policies of the US & UK governments in their illegal war against the people of Iraq.

Galloway partook of Saddam'... (Below threshold)

Galloway partook of Saddam's Oil for Food, which took food from starving children to fatten foolish European politicians.

And you, Jaylag, are accessory to this crime against humanity.

This SCIRI-Sistani thing mu... (Below threshold)

This SCIRI-Sistani thing must be wonderful news; MSM is ignoring it.

The gift that keeps on givi... (Below threshold)

The gift that keeps on giving; they are still ignoring it.






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