The radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who's militia has clashed so violently with Coalition forces, has accepted a deal to surrender, Juan Cole says, passing on an arabic newspaper report."It would provide for the senior ayatollahs to issue a ruling or fatwa dissolving the Army of the Mahdi, Muqtada's militia. Muqtada [would] surrender to the grand ayatollahs and agree to have [top religious leaders] negotiate for him with the Americans," Cole writes. "Muqtada would accept the outcome of those negotiations without condition. Iran would offer him temporary asylum, until June 30 and the formation of a sovereign Iraqi government, at which time he could report to Najaf for his trial. In return, the US would withdraw its forces from the environs of Najaf."The New York Times reports that a group of Iranian diplomats has been doing the negotiating. And that their work is not done yet. Stay tuned.
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