BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 28 August, 2004, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Press relief at Najaf deal
Woman looks at Sistani poster
Praise for Ayatollah Sistani's role

Papers throughout the Middle East on Saturday welcome the end to the military stand-off in Najaf.

Some see the outcome as a sign of hope for Iraq's future.

But while the Iranian press has warm words for what it sees as a victory for Ayatollah Sistani, papers in Baghdad and elsewhere predict tough times ahead for the interim government.

What happened in Najaf represents an honourable way out for everyone... Iraqis should now take advantage of this lesson... The opportunity is there.

Jordan's Al-Ra'y - editorial

The Iraqi door has just started to open.

Lebanon's Al-Safir - commentary by Hussein al-Awdat

The Najaf agreement is a glimpse of hope. It is a crucial step in putting an end to the Iraqi ordeal.

UAE's Al-Bayan - editorial

It is good that it ended like that. Although a small massacre has been committed, the greatest massacre has been avoided... nor did the Allawi government fall, despite the great and dagerous challenges it faced.

London-based Al-Hayat - commentary by Hazim Saghiyah

Now that the bloodshed is over, the Iraqi government should take the opportunity to behave in a rational way towards those whose opinions differ from its own. It should also realise that military confrontation between its citizens is unacceptable.

Qatar's Al-Rayah - editorial

The rebel movement which isolated itself in a corner of the holy city has been crushed.. This victory which the Iraqi government cautiously achieved, and which ended militarily in Najaf, will put it in a very difficult situation.

London-based Al-Sharq al-Awsat - commentary by Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid

Events in Najaf have shown, on the one hand, the potential energy of the Islamic world in defeating the enemies of Islam and how a few selfless youngsters can bring the occupying American army to its knees... and most important of all, it has shown the determining role of the Shia sources of emulation in containing critical situations.

Iran's Jomhuri-ye Eslami - editorial

Najaf is finally calm... By achieving a great victory relying on ordinary people and without weapons, Ayatollah Sistani purified the Shia capital from acts of disrespect and turned himself into an unparalleled model in the country.

Iran's Farhang-e Ashti - editorial

Ayatollah Sistani is the only Iraqi figure who can unite all of the country's groups under one umbrella. To defend their country, all Iraqi political parties and groups should settle their disagreements, make efforts to maintain their solidarity, consult with the ulema, and look to Ayatollah Sistani for guidance.

Iran's Tehran Times - editorial

Iraq's interim government lacks a social base and should realise that in dealing with foreign colonialists, if it does not co-ordinate itself with the wishes of the people, led by the Islamic sources of emulation, it will not last long against the will of the people and its fate will be the same as the Shah of Iran.

Iran's Hemayat - editorial

It is worth noting that after the Najaf crisis began, there was a surprising fall in the number of car-bombings, kidnappings and assassinations throughout Iraq, and that such terrorist operations resumed as soon as there was a sign that a solution to the crisis was imminent. This can only be understood as a message sent by the hidden players operating behind the scenes to the effect that it is they who hold the key to security in Iraq.

Iraq's Al-Yawm al-Akhar - commentary by Muhammad al-Baidhani

After its cautiously won military victory in Najaf, the Iraqi government will be facing an even more difficult situation. Its military confrontation with an outlawed group challenging its authority by force of arms will turn into a political one, with the same adversary touting legitimate slogans, this time to challenge the government's authority... Although Sadr has failed militarily... he still has before him a vast open arena for political confrontation, where he is apt to find on his side a huge army, far bigger than the Mehdi Army.

Iraq's Al-Sharq al-Awsat - commentary by Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The Struggle for Iraq


Jalal Talabani Overview
A look at the key players in post-Saddam Iraq





The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific