The most recent resignation of Muqtada al-Sadr from his political and leadership duties on 29 August was a result of the direct influence of two of the most prominent Iraqi Shia clerics.
In light of the total absence of any foreign influence on either side of Iraq’s most recent political crisis, the bloodshed in the Green Zone was swiftly halted as Muqtada al-Sadr called on his supporters to end “this charade.”
According to exclusive information provided to The Cradle, Muhammad-Rida al-Sistani called Al-Sadr’s office and informed him about the position taken by the elders of the religious school in Najaf regarding the political crisis in the country.
Al-Sistani informed Al-Sadr that his actions will lead to an inter-Shia civil war and that “the bloodshed of the Iraqis will be on Al-Sadr’s hands.”
Additionally, Al-Sadr was invited to meet with Muhammad-Rida’s father, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani.
Ayatollah Al-Sistani is one of the most recognized Muslim scholars in the world and is currently the most influential religious figure in Iraq.
Ayatollah al-Sistani’s message to Al-Sadr was an unexpected turn of events, considering that al-Sistani usually does not interfere with the internal Iraqi political struggle.
Al-Sistani’s remarks and those of cleric Kazem al-Haeri forced Al-Sadr to concede and forfeit all his plans as the current developments put him at odds with his father’s legacy and most importantly against Shia clerics in Iraq.
Al-Haeri was nominated by Al-Sadr’s father to become a cleric and ordered his followers to pledge support to him. As a result, Al-Sadr sees himself bound to follow Al-Haeri who denounced Al-Sadr in a statement on 29 August and accused him of being a maverick.
Additionally, The Cradle has been informed that all reports about a political mediation through Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah are false.
On 30 August, Al-Amwaj Media claimed that Al-Sadr received a phone call from Beirut and that “Hezbollah played a crucial role in containing the eruption of an all-out Shia civil war in Iraq.”
However, claims about Hezbollah having any influence on al-Sadr’s positions on the political crisis in Iraq have been denied to The Cradle.
“Hezbollah does not have a special project in Iraq, and we do not adopt any party at the expense of another. The role that Hezbollah has always been keen to play in Iraq is to bring the views closer,” Nasrallah said in a speech on 25 July.