AP: Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of Iraq’s largest Shiite party, said Monday that tests carried out in the United States have shown that he suffered from a “limited tumor” and that he will be treated in Iran. Associated Press
BAGHDAD (AP) – Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of Iraq’s largest Shiite party, said Monday that tests carried out in the United States have shown that he suffered from a “limited tumor” and that he will be treated in Iran.
Al-Hakim, 57, did not say where the tumor was, but officials close to him said he was diagnosed with lung cancer after undergoing tests last week at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“The results of those tests in America showed a number of limited inflammations and a limited tumor,” al-Hakim said in comments from Iran broadcast by Iraqi state television.
He said he was told that “they can be easily controlled and treated.”
Al-Hakim, seated in an armchair, appeared relaxed and occasionally smiled during his brief comments.
“My treatment will not last long and I will return home in the nearest opportunity, God willing,” he said.
Al-Hakim flew to the U.S. on Wednesday for tests after doctors at a hospital in Baghdad detected signs of cancer in one of his lungs. Al-Hakim, leader of the Supreme Islamic Council since 2003, left the U.S. early Sunday for Iran, where he was expected to undergo chemotherapy treatment, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his condition.
Iran, Iraq’s Shiite neighbor to the east, hosted al-Hakim in exile for more than two decades during Saddam Hussein’s rule. His party, formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was founded there with Iranian help in the early 1980s.
Al-Hakim, who gave up a 30-year smoking habit last year, has been coughing and suffering from high blood pressure for months, the officials said. His cough became considerably worse during two days of party meetings this month, when he was re-elected party leader.