Iraqi Parliament Debate on Pact Erupts in Chaos

The Iraqi Parliament’s debate on the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) was expected to be contentious, but it would have been difficult to envision just how contentious things ended up today. Influential Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s parliamentary bloc had firmly opposed the SOFA from the beginning, and loudly forced an adjournment as the SOFA was being read to parliament.

It didn’t end with desk banging, while Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani loudly berated anti-SOFA legislators, MP Ahmed al-Massoudi approached the bench, apparently to grab the document away from the reader. He was reportedly punched by a security guard for nearby Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, prompting several other legislators from his bloc to rush to his aid, leading to a melee which spilled into the hallway, in full view of the lobby.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not quite the done deal ABCNNBBCBS portrayed it as.

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