Saturday, April 01, 2006

Shiite Ayatollah Ignores Letter From Bush - AP World News - Shiite Ayatollah Ignores Letter From Bush: "The aide _ who has never allowed use of his name in news reports, citing al-Sistani's refusal to make any public statements himself _ said the ayatollah had laid the letter aside and did not ask for a translation because of increasing 'unhappiness' over what senior Shiite leaders see as American meddling in Iraqi attempts to form their first, permanent post-invasion government.
The aide said the person who delivered the Bush letter _ he would not identify the messenger by name or nationality _ said it carried Bush's thanks to al-Sistani for calling for calm among his followers in preventing the outbreak of civil war after a Shiite shrine was bombed late last month.
The messenger also was said to have explained that the letter reinforced the American position that Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari should not be given a second term. Al-Sistani has not publicly taken sides in the dispute, but rather has called for Shiite unity."

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