Foreign Policy Blogs

Radical Shi'a Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iraq

In a developing story, Reuters is reporting that firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Iraq after years of self-imposed exile in Iran. The radical nationalist visited the holy city of Najaf where his father is buried. The source said Sadr had left Iraq at the end of 2006.  Sadr, whose Mehdi Army fought U.S. troops after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and clashed with  Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s ISF, had fled Iraq after an arrest warrant was issued for him. More recently, his political movement secured now-incumbent al-Maliki’s second term in office.

Sadr, the son of revered Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, has reportedly been pursuing religious studies in the Iranian holy city of Qom. It is not immediately clear how long al-Sadr would stay in Iraq.



Reid Smith

Reid Smith has worked as a research associate specializing on U.S. policy in the Middle East and as a political speechwriter. He is currently a doctoral student and graduate associate with the University of Delaware's Department of Political Science and International Relations. He blogs and writes for The American Spectator.