Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hakim now in Iran for treatment

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim is head of the Shi'ite coalition of parties in parliament, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), which maintains Prime Minister Maliki in power. Before the fall of Saddam, Hakim spent years in exile in Iran, where, as leader of the pro-Iranian Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) he headed the anti-Saddam Badr Brigade militia. After Saddam's fall, the Badr Brigade merged into Iraq's official security forces, and Hakim became a member of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. In December, Hakim met with Bush in Washington, shortly before the administration attempted to coordinate Prime Minister Maliki's ouster with Hakim chosen by Washington to be the power-broker behind the scenes. But that plan was stopped dead in its tracks by Grand Ayatollah Sistani.Hakim's recent trip to the U.S. coincidentally coincided with the arrival of Iraqi president's Jalal Talabain -- one of two of the leading Kurdish politicians in Ira -- arrival in the U.S. for 'weight loss' issues. And both Hakim's and Talabani's arrivals coincidentally coincide with reports that the U.S. may once again seek to oust Prime Minister Maliki. Hakim's trip to Iran also coincidentally comes just ahead of an upcoming meeting between the U.S. and Iran.

Influential Shi'ite cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the head of Iraq's largest parliamentary bloc, said on Monday he was in Iran seeking treatment for a "simple tumour" in his lungs.

"The results of these examinations found a number of limited infections and a limited tumour ... (Doctors) saw that the condition could easily be controlled," a visibly tired Hakim said in a taped address on his party's Furat television channel....

The Washington Post has reported that Hakim saw specialists in Houston, Texas, on Thursday.

Hakim, speaking from Iran, said doctors in Iraq advised him to undergo tests in the United States. He said the results of those tests showed that he could receive adequate treatment in Iraq's neighbouring countries such as Iran rather than remain in the United States.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribuned

Related Link:
'Sources': Hakim in U.S. for lung cancer

Related Link:
Report: Hakim flies to U.S. for 'medical tests'