An imam with ties to radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Friday criticized a rival leader's recent visit to Washington, calling it an act of "surrender."
Sheik Salah al-Obeidi, a follower of Sadr, told worshippers at the Kufa mosque that Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim's meeting with US President George W. Bush in Washington on November 27 was a mistake.
"Whatever the pretext is, going to the head of tyranny and to the US is a kind of surrender," Obeidi said.
Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraq Council, the largest Shi'ite political party, and Sadr agreed two months ago to end a bitter rivalry that had ignited armed clashes and assassinations between their followers in the oil-rich south.
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