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Al-Jaafari Prepares to Step Aside in Iraq

A long-standing political impasse in Iraq could soon be broken, as signs emerge that the Shiite alliance has agreed to review its nomination of Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister. Sunni and Kurdish leaders, along with some Shiites, are opposed to Jaafari. Parliament is now scheduled to convene Saturday, when a deal on a new government could be announced.

Jaafari has come under pressure to step aside from U.N. envoy Ashraf Qazi. The interim prime minister's new stance comes one day after he met with two powerful clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, and Muqtada al-Sadr.

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Jamie Tarabay
After reporting from Iraq for two years as NPR's Baghdad Bureau Chief, Jamie Tarabay is now embarking on a two year project reporting on America's Muslims. The coverage will take in the country's approx 6 million Muslims, of different ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, and the issues facing their daily lives as Americans.