it is now almost certain that Iraq's first elected prime minister in half ain third paragraph, adding immediately:
century [Al-Jaafari] will be an Islamic scholar with close ties to Iran, a leader whose party once carried out terrorist attacks against U.S. targets
But al-Jaafari, currently one of two vice presidents in the interim
administration, also is regarded as one of the more moderate of the Shiite
Islamist politicians, a pragmatist who has tempered his views as he has risen to the top of the political establishment in the new Iraq.
In a recent interview at his offices in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, he said his priority is to see a constitution that enshrines equal rights for all of Iraq's ethnic and religious groups.
"We will not have any laws that oppose Islam," he said. "That doesn't mean we want an Islamic government. The majority of Iraqis are Muslims, and so it is natural that Islam should be the official religion. But the most important thing is to respect the freedom of religion of all Iraqis of
all ethnic backgrounds and traditions."
And farther down the Iran and terrorist links are handled nicely. He fled to Iran when his party faced death and destruction from Sadaam. As for the terrorism,
Al-Jaafari, a physician, has always denied any links to the attacks. Jawad
Maliki, a senior Dawa official, said the attacks were carried out by Dawa
factions that were co-opted by Iranian intelligence agencies, not the mainstream Dawa Party that al-Jaafari leads.
In 1989 al-Jaafari moved to London, where he distanced himself further from the Iranian-influenced Iraqi exile movement. He still maintains his family home in northwestern London, where his wife works
as a physician, and among Iraqi Shiites he is as closely associated with the
West as he is with Iran. (Italics added)
He is also a religious scholar, and while in exile in Iran he studied in the holy city of Qom, reaching the rank of mujtahid, one rung below that of ayatollah. That qualification will help him when it comes to steering Iraq's government in accordance with Islamic laws, said one of his top
aides, Adnan Ali.
"He's capable of defending Sharia law and he's a moderate," he said.
It's a good story. Why the headline, which misses its main point, that the guy looks good?