Friday, August 27, 2004

Full translation by Angry Arab of the Sistani accord:
"1. Removal of weapons from the cities of Najaf and Kufa, and the withdrawal of all armed elements from the two cities, and their categorical non-return.
2. That Iraqi police assumes the responsibility for security and law preservation in Najaf and Kufa.
3. The withdrawal of the multinational forces from the cities.
4. That the Iraqi government pays reparations to those harmed in the recent battles.
5. It is incumbent upon all political, social, intellectual parties and sides to be part of the political process which will lead to general elections, arriving toward full sovereignty."
There are Arab press reports regarding secret elements, pertaining to the release of prisoners on both sides. There is no question after reading this that As-Sadr got what he wanted, and the Iraqi puppet government demands were not met. After all, a similar offer of these terms were submitted last week by As-Sadr and were rejected by `Allawi. On the most important issues, As-Sadr did not compromise: he did not surrender his weapons, and Arab media are widely reporting that most weapons were placed in special hiding places. He refused to commit to join the political process leading to the puppet elections. And finally, he refused to recognize the Iraqi puppet government. As-Sistani (as my friend Amir was commenting) had to return to Iraq and offer this deal, to save his own "neck." Had Sistani returned to a destroyed Najaf with US (or Iraqi puppet) forces inside the Imam `Ali mosque, he most likely would have been met with rotten tomatoes (or potatoes). This deal saves Sistani and Sadr's political fortunes. It was also surprising to see former Iranian president Rafsanjani heaping praise on Sistani yesterday. This, again, proves that Sistani seems to be playing a very sneaky game.