Iraq: Aide says Muqtada al-Sadr to disband militia if ordered by Shi'ite clerics

An aide to Muqtada al-Sadr said Monday that the Mahdi Army leader would agree to disband his militia if ordered to do so by top Shi'ite clerics. Hassan al-Zarqani, an al-Sadr aide currently in Iran, said al-Sadr would consult Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other top Shi'ite clerics if the government continues to pressure him to disband the militia. The aide said Monday in a telephone interview that al-Sadr "will obey" if al-Sistani and the other clerics recommend that he do so.