Anti-American cleric vies for more power in Iraq

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 2, 2010 00:51




BAGHDAD – A Muslim cleric  who once used a militia to resist the American invasion positioned himself as a big winner in Iraq's monthslong political deadlock Friday when his party threw its support behind the beleaguered prime minister.

The hard-line Shi'ite group led by Muqtada al-Sadr called it the start of its ascent to nationwide power — a specter sure to spook the United States.

Washington considers the cleric a threat to Iraq's shaky security and has long refused to consider his movement a legitimate political entity. But Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki may be unable to govern without him.


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