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Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Top Iraqi Shia party changes name
Abd al-Aziz Hakim
Mr Hakim helped found the former opposition group in Tehran in 1982
One of Iraq's two main Shia parties has changed its name to reflect the new political realities in the country.

The Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), part of the governing coalition, will now be known as the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq.

Abd al-Aziz Hakim, announced the change at a press conference to confirm his re-election as the party's leader.

Some analysts say the dropping of the word "revolutionary" is an attempt to distance the party from Iran.

Mr Hakim and his brother, the late Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir Hakim, founded the former opposition group in Tehran in 1982.

The Iranian government gave the group substantial support during the Iran-Iraq war, and the two still have strong connections.

But Mr Hakim said his party's name had been changed to reflect the fact that the former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, had been overthrown.

"Revolution means change," he told reporters.

"This is what we sought from the creation of the council."

"The council participated in realising political changes in Iraq, the most important of which was regime change. So this word became unnecessary."

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