Sonic Puke
It's all fun and games until somebody pokes out an eye

5/06/2003

Iraqi Shiites Reject Iranian Influence
The title speaks for itself...

A generation after Khomeini left Najaf and led Iran's Islamic revolution, little of his legacy here remains. And as Shiite religious leaders begin to build their own power base in a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq, many are rejecting Iran's guidance.

Shiites are gathering in this southern Iraqi city - freely, for the first time in years - to mark the death of the Prophet Muhammad.

Amid the religious and political maneuverings is a sense that, although mostly Shiite Iran looms large, it and its model of rule by Muslim clerics will not guide Iraq's Shiites toward their future.

``Our relations with Iran will be like with any neighboring country,'' said Sheik Adel Najm al-Saedi, Manwan's husband. ``Of course the special bond of Shiites will connect us. But that is all.''

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