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Senior official says Iraq 'as a political project is finished'

John Byrne
Published: Friday July 21, 2006

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A senior unidentified official -- either from the Iraqi government or the United States -- told Reuters Friday that "Iraq as a political project is finished," and that Baghdad might be divided between east and west, RAW STORY has learned.

The story, filed Friday by Reuters Baghdad reporters Ahmed Rasheed and Mariam Karouny, signals an increasingly dire situation in the Iraqi capital. Excerpts follow.

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"Iraq as a political project is finished," a top government official told Reuters -- anonymously because the coalition of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains committed in public to a U.S.-sponsored constitution preserving Iraq's unity.

"The parties have moved to Plan B," the official said, saying Sunni, ethnic Kurdish and majority Shi'ite blocs were looking at ways to divide power and resources and to solve the conundrum of Baghdad's mixed population of seven million.

"There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into east and west," said the official, who has long been a proponent of the present government's objectives. "We are extremely worried."

READ THE FULL REUTERS STORY HERE.

Correction: A closer reading of the Reuters story indicates the official was not necessarily an American. The change has been reflected in the story as well as the headline.