Muqtada al-Sadr (file photo) (epa)
May 27, 2007 -- Radical Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr met with his top lieutenants today to discuss a new direction for his Shi'ite movement after his return to public life following a seven-month seclusion.
Spokesman Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi, briefing reporters after the conference in Al-Najaf, said the meeting was designed to push al-Sadr's plan to create a more positive public face for his movement.
The spokesman said "the Sadr movement is going to appear in a new form and with a new style on the Iraqi scene."
Meanwhle, one of Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite politicians, Abd al-Aziz al-Hakim, has left a Tehran hospital, where he was being treated for lung cancer.
The Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), one of the main Shi'ite parties in the Baghdad government, said he left hospital May 26 after receiving treatment. He is now at his residence in Tehran, where he is resting.
The SIIC was until recently known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI.