Abdulaziz al-Hakim played a prominent role in Iraqi politics. A firm friend of Ali Khamenei and an Iraqi of questionable national loyalty he was surprisingly favored by the Bush Administration. Under Obama a Shiite Arab dominated Iraq ruled by freely elected Islamists who still see Qom as the final guarantor of their survival still seems to be the policy goal DC is myopically charging towards. Iraqis out in force for Hakim funeral Juan Cole has an Obit here. Perhaps the death of Iran's most elevated asset in Iraq and the decline of the most Qom friendly party the ISCI should be a cause for celebration? Then we should recall the grouping of major Shiite parties, United Iraqi Alliance, all close to Iran has reformed as The Iraqi National Alliance to excluding Nouri al-Maliki and Da'wa. There are rumors of Qom offering to secure 49 seats for Da'wa if Nouri bends the knee to them of course. Then there is the situation in Iran since the botched elections seen by some as a "golden moment" to squeeze concessions from an increasingly hard line regime. There's the approach of Barry's deadline for engagement and soft promises to Israel of harsh sanction on Iran if it does not cease its nuke program. This is now a politically wounded POTUS in need of victories. A diplomatic collision if not a military one is likely by the end of this year. In AT As US fades, Iran ups the ante in Iraq By Shahir Shahidsaless I get the sense of the political pieces being patiently put in place for Qom's endgame in Iraq. Iraqi politics in itself being just one of many logical lines of operation.