[QODLink]
Middle East
Al-Sadr bloc rejects federalism
Comments made in response to another Shia politician's suggestion on spliting Iraq.
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2007 16:38 GMT
Ammar Hakim said that dividing the country is "an Iraqi interest, wish and decision"[EPA] 
The Muqtada al-Sadr bloc has rejected a suggestion made by another Iraqi Shia politician that the country should be split into regions based on sect and ethnicity.

Ammar Hakim, son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), said that dividing the country is "an Iraqi interest, wish and decision".
Responding to his comments, Sadr's spokesman in Najaf said on Sunday that his group’s opposition to federalism "is firm and has not been changed".
Sheikh Saleh al-Obeidi, Sadr's spokesman, said : "After the US Congress voted to divide Iraq, it is clear that insisting on applying federalism in the current tragic Iraqi situation is a flirtation with the [non-binding] US Congress resolution [calling for a transfer of power to three self-governing regions - or Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds]."

The SIIC is one of the largest parties in the Iraqi parliament and a key supporter of Nuri al-Maliki, the prime minister.

Your Views

"Iraq is still under foreign occupation and Iraqis continue to die in great numbers"

albaghawy, Luxembourg

Send us your views

On October 6, Sadr and al-Hakim agreed their respective militias stop attacking each other.

Debate continues

Meanwhile, political differences still remain and al-Hakim has argued in the past for uniting the nine Shia-majority provinces in southern Iraq. 

The US Congress resolution, sponsored by Senator Joseph Biden, was dismissed by Maliki, who called it an infringement on Iraqi sovereignty even though it was backed by the government in the northern Kurdish region. 

However, the principle of federalism is included in the Iraqi constitution.

But Sunni Arabs, who form an estimated 20 per cent of the population and are largely located in central, resource-poor parts of the country, are also against federalism, fearing it would deprive them of oil wealth.
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.