Iraq's Shiites in No Mood to Embrace Iran

(Washington Post) Liz Sly - The ascent to power of Iraqi Shiites reversed nearly 1,400 years of sometimes brutal Sunni domination. However, although Iraqi Shiites broadly welcome the departure of the Americans, they seem in no mood to substitute one form of foreign domination for another - and least of all, they say, from Iran. In Najaf, Iraq, the spiritual capital of Shiite Islam, Neama al-Ebadi, director of the Iraq Center for Research and Studies, said, "Do you know who in Iraq hates Iran more than anyone? It is Najaf," echoing a view widely expressed on the streets of the city. "The Shiites of Iran are Iranian first. They think they're superior to Arabs." Under the stewardship of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Najaf's religious authorities have moved firmly to assert their quietist school of Shiite religious thought, under which the clerics are expected to merely advise rather than participate in politics, as they do in Iran.

2011-12-15 00:00:00

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