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vOLdEMoRT: In his resignation statement, al-Sadr referenceded to the retirement on Sunday of Shi'ite spiritual leader Ayatollah Kadhim al-Haeri, who called on his followers to support Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his stead. Al-Sadr claimed that al-Haeri's resignation was "not of his own volition," seemingly implying covert Iranian influence.

Al-Sadr is a vocal critic of foreign influence in Iraq, and has long sought to curb the influence of Iran-backed Shia militias in the country. After his political bloc won 73 seats in the 329-seat Iraqi legislature last year, he failed to form a government, due to opposition from the Coordination Framework Alliance, a Shia bloc allied with Iran, and al-Sadr's desire to exclude its members from a potential ruling coalition.

Al-Sadr's supporters have occupied the Iraqi Parliament since late July to prevent this rival bloc from forming a government of its own.

Mustafa al-Kadhimi, an ally of al-Sadr, remains Iraq's caretaker prime minister. Al-Sadr has called for the dissolution of parliament and fresh elections, and Iraq's Supreme Federal Court is scheduled to meet this week to decide whether parliament should be disbanded.

by Cat on Tue Aug 30th, 2022 at 12:51:08 AM EST
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