The Revenge of the Antichrist: Revelation 13

Muqtada al-Sadr’s revenge.. Why could Iran be the real loser in the Iraqi Shiite conflict?

9/14/2022, 8:39:13 AM

The American magazine Foreign Affairs published an article that dealt with criticism and analysis of the political positions of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, and his attempts to contain Iranian influence in Iraq, and to impose his control over power-sharing arrangements.

The American magazine Foreign Affairsin which its writer criticized and analyzed the political positions of the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, and his attempts to contain Iranian influence in Iraq, and to impose his control over the power-sharing arrangements in the country.

New York University associate journalism professor Muhammad Bazzi claimed in his article that Muqtada al-Sadr sought from the outset to combine political and religious authority, despite his “limited” religious qualifications and his apparent disregard for his years of study under the supervision of senior Shiite scholars, which entitles him to obtain the title of Ayatollah.

Despite this, Muqtada (the only surviving son of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr who was assassinated in 1999) was able to follow in his father’s footsteps as a political leader of the Sadrist movement, according to the article.


Bazzi (American of Lebanese origin) – who also works as director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies – touched on the early elections that took place in Iraq in October 2021, and resulted in the Sadrist movement winning 73 seats out of 329 in Parliament, despite that. Neither his bloc nor any other party succeeded in forming a government, which brought the country’s political system to a dead end, says the researcher and academic.

After months of failing to form a new government, al-Sadr announced on August 29 his retirement from political life.

However, the author of the article asserts that al-Sadr – despite this claim – is likely to exploit this new stage in his brinkmanship strategy and the street protests, to have the “upper hand over his opponents.”

Al-Sadr seeks – through similar statements that he has been making – to devote himself as an undisputed Shiite political decision-maker.

And to dominate the power-sharing system between the sects (the muhasasa), which remained in place after the United States overthrew the rule of the late President Saddam Hussein.

Shiite-Shiite conflict

Bazzi believes that the conflict in Iraq was not between rival sects or ethnic groups, but rather between Shiites “divided over their country’s relationship with Iran.”

The Sadrists – whose leader Muqtada al-Sadr was once a close ally of Tehran – argue that Baghdad should distance itself from all foreign powers, including Iran, while other factions remain more closely linked to Iraq’s powerful neighbor.

Although al-Sadr formulated his political game as a campaign against a corrupt political class that owes allegiance to Iran and other external powers, this adventure poses – according to the Foreign Affairs article – another danger to the “fragile” Iraqi state, represented in the possibility of taking over Baghdad by a “Shiite cleric.” He was leading one of Iraq’s most feared militias,” not Iranian-backed political factions.

A political vacuum in the Shiite sect

Al-Sadr embodies a “nationalist and rebellious model” of Shi’ism in Iraq, according to Bazzi’s description, who goes on to say that the Iraqi religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other Shiite religious scholars avoid direct political participation, which has created a power vacuum within this sect, a vacuum that has remained The chest has been working for two decades to fill it.

Al-Sadr is more skilled than America in Iraq

However, the writer sees him as a leader who built a massive social and political movement capable of mobilizing the votes of the electorate, and taking advantage of the patronage system in Iraq.

Over the past years, he has also demonstrated greater political skill than the United States, and his Iraqi opponents have credited him for this, and he has always outdone them.

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