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Shiite clerics to have final say in Iraq alliance

BAGHDAD (AP) - An agreement signed by Iraq's two main Shiite blocs looking to govern the country would leave the final decision on all their disputes to top Shiite clerics.

A leading member of the prime minister's coalition who signed the agreement confirmed Wednesday that it gives a small group of clerics led by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani the last word on any disputes between the two allied blocs. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The new Shiite alliance would likely dominate any future government, potentially giving their religious leaders a strong say over future policy.

Shiite politician Karim al-Yaqoubi, who attend the signing, also confirmed the contents of the agreement.


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