Iraqi Government is Delayed

On June15th, Muqtada al-Sadr <<and his 73 members of the Iraqi Parliament quit. They just walked out – Aljazeera. The move will hobble Iraq’s attempt to form a government. He is the most influential politician among the common people and has a sizeable militia called the Mahdi Army.

This is a political move. What is he up to? Hard to say. We will watch the news to see. His stated political stance is to keep the US and Iran out of Iraqi politics. However

On 1 May 2009, al-Sadr paid a surprise visit to Ankara where, in his first public appearance for two years, he met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan <<for talks and requested Turkey play a greater role in establishing stability in the Middle East.

On 5 January 2011, Sadr returned from Iran to Najaf, having spent four years out of the country after vowing never to return unless the American forces left. He spent much of that time as a guest of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei <<in Iran.

In 2015 he entered into an alliance with the Iraqi Communist Party.

Al-Sadr has played his hand carefully thus far. He was able to rise as a populist hero and wise enough to stay out of his country when things were too dangerous. He has even courted ties with Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see what this shrewd politician does next.