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Islamist Jaafari Set To Become Iraqi Prime Minister

HeadlineFeb 23, 2005

In Iraq, the Shiite physician Ibrahim al-Jaafari appears set to become the country’s new prime minister. The leading Shiite political coalition named Jaafari Tuesday as its candidate to be their official candidate for Prime Minister after his leading opponent, Ahmad Chalabi, withdrew from the race. Jaafari has spoken of increasing ties with Iran where he lived in exile during the 1980s. He is a member of the religious Dawa party. Patrick Lang, the retired chief of Middle East intelligence for the Pentagon said the selection of Jaafari marks the “desecularization of Iraq” that it enlarging Iranian sphere of influence in the region. Lang predicted Jaafari selection will enflame the Sunni resistance because it fears that Iraq’s new government will be dominated by hard-line religious Shiites.

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