Iraq: US intimidates SCIRI?

Arab Monitor calls the brief detainment by US forces of a son of Shiite leader Abdul Aziz al-Hakim “a message to SCIRI,” the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Washington has got to be uneasy that its allies in Iraq are the faction traditionallly backed by Iran. Maybe this was an intentional ritual humiliation to show who’s really boss. Feb. 23:

US occupation troops detained Ammar al-Hakim, a son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of the powerful SCIRI, the main power-holder in the current Iraqi government. Ammar al-Hakim was returning from Iran to Iraq, as his convoy was held up at the Badrah checkpoint in the Wasit province and he was taken to Forward Operation Base Delta, a US military base near the city of Kut, together with three of his bodyguards, whose arms were confiscated.

Since SCIRI is to be counted among the essential supporters of US presence in Iraq, the detention of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim’s son by US troops was read by Western media as a message the US administration intends to send to SCIRI to forget about its past, when it was still based in Iran and, constituted by Iraqi Shiite refugees, drew its strength out of its closeness to the Iranian establishment during the era of the stand-off with Saddam Hussein’s regime. Meanwhile however Ammar al-Hakim was released and the US military authorities apologized to the Iraqi government.

See our last post on Iraq.