Friday, June 8, 2012

Iraq's Sadrists Protest Outside Baghdad TV Station

On June 6, 2012, followers of Moqtada al-Sadr protested outside of a TV station in Baghdad after it aired a story claiming that the movement took orders from Tehran. While Sadr built up his base standing up for Iraq’s poor Shiites, and likes to portray himself as an Iraqi nationalist, he increasingly came under the influence of Iran as the U.S. began targeting him in the mid-2000s. He eventually fled to Qom where he claimed he was going for religious studies, but the real reason was he was afraid that the U.S. might target him during the Surge. At the same time, Tehran found Sadr to be too independent and erratic in his actions, and worked to lure away many of his militiamen to join Special Groups, trained, armed and funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Qods Force. Sadr is no puppet, but he definitely feels Iran’s pressure when they apply it.

Riot police waiting for a crowd of Sadrists to approach a TV station in Baghdad that claimed their movement took orders from Iran, June 6, 2012 (AP)
Sadrist crowd protesting TV station (AP)
Followers of Moqtada al-Sadr chanting during demonstration against TV station (AP)

Associated Press, “Shiite militia may be disintegrating,” 3/21/07

Bennett, Brian, “Underestimating al-Sadr – Again,” Time, 2/12/08

Felter, Joseph and Fishman, Brian, “Iranian Strategy in Iraq, Politics and ‘Other Means,’” Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, 10/13/08

McGeary, Johanna, “New Thugs On The Block,” Time, 4/19/04

Rahimi, Babak, “Moqtada al-Sadr’s New Alliance with Tehran,” Terrorism Monitor, Jamestown Foundation, 3/1/07

1 comment:

Unknown said...

its all in our hand to bring the peace and success to our country future, government need either to trust other partners OR push other partners to trust the government.

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