Iran General NewsTop Iraqi Shiite leader back in Iran for cancer...

Top Iraqi Shiite leader back in Iran for cancer treatment

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AFP: Powerful Shiite politician Abdel Aziz al-Hakim has returned to Iran to undergo chemotherapy for his lung cancer, two weeks after receiving treatment in Tehran, his son told AFP on Thursday. TEHRAN, June 14, 2007 (AFP) – Powerful Shiite politician Abdel Aziz al-Hakim has returned to Iran to undergo chemotherapy for his lung cancer, two weeks after receiving treatment in Tehran, his son told AFP on Thursday.

“There are minor malignant swellings in his lung, a sort of not advanced lung cancer that has not spread yet,” Mohsen Hakim said.

“The physicians said that it is treatable with chemotherapy and they are very much hopeful that they will be able to treat it,” he added.

Two weeks ago, the secretary of another son, Ammar, said Abdel Aziz “is in his headquarters in Najaf and will be there for a long time, after he finished his initial period of treatment in Tehran.”

Hakim, the head of one of the most powerful parties in the parliament, has also undergone medical tests in the United States.

On May 22, Ammar Hakim said his father’s health was “stable and the doctors in America confirmed to him that the cancer tumour is limited and could be brought under control.”

Hakim’s Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC), formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, was founded in Iran in 1982 as an opposition movement in exile.

The party returned to Iraq in the aftermath of the March 2003 US-led invasion. It joined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s coalition government last year after winning 30 seats in the 275-member parliament.

Hakim’s illness comes as one of his main rivals, radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, has resurfaced after several months in hiding.

Despite SIIC’s close ties with Iran, Hakim has tried to build bridges with the United States, and last year met President George W. Bush at the White House.

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