Us In Contact With Iraqi Ex-foe Sadr After His Surprise Election Win Sadr Aide

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BAGHDAD – The United States has contacted members of a political bloc in Iraq led by a former foe, the Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, after his election win put him in a strong position to influence the formation of a new government, a top Sadr aide said.

The surprise victory by Sadr’s political alliance Sairoon in a parliamentary election last week has put Washington into an awkward position. His Mehdi Army militia fought violent battles against U.S. troops after Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003.

Despite their past enmity, Washington and Sadr, an Iraqi nationalist, agree on their opposition to Iran’s deep influence in Iraq, where it arms, trains and funds Shi’ite militias and nurtures close ties with many politicians.




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