Abdelaziz al-Hakim, member of the leading committee of the Iraqi united opposition and deputy chairman of the Shiite Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), arrived in el-Kut in south-eastern Iraq on Wednesday. En route from Iran to el-Kut he made stopovers in Badra and Jassan, where he was welcomed by Shiite theologians, local tribal leaders and crowds of city dwellers, the Saudi news agency SPA reports. Al-Hakim said the SCIRI chairman Ayatollah Muhammed Baker al-Hakim would return to Iraq very soon.
The SCIRI refused to participate in a conference of representatives of the Iraqi opposition, the United States, the coalition countries, which was held in al-Nassiriyah on April 15, and enter the transitional government of Iraq. In al-Nassiriyah and al-Najaf mass demonstrations were held on Tuesday. Its participants said they would not recognise the government formed with American involvement.