Friday, July 02, 2004


One of them, anyway.
The rise of a secular, democratic Iraq could pose a threat to Iran's Shi'ite clerical establishment, which fears it would serve as a powerful model for moderate Iranians who seek change, clerics said.

Many senior clerics are particularly concerned about any shift in the center of gravity within Shi'ite Islam away from Iran's holy city of Qom, from which clerics wield immense political authority, toward Najaf in neighboring Iraq.

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