Inside Story

Why is Muqtada al-Sadr quitting Iraqi politics?

Powerful Shia Muslim leader’s announcement triggered violent protests.

After violent protests and fighting, Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s supporters have left Baghdad’s Green Zone.

The unrest was triggered by his announcement that he is quitting politics.

Dozens of people were killed when al-Sadr’s supporters battled Iraqi security forces and rival Shia factions near government buildings and embassies.

Al-Sadr is one of Iraq’s most important figures, wielding enormous influence over many aspects of public life.

Is there another reason for al-Sadr’s announcement?

Presenter: Nick Clark


Ahmed Rushdi – Senior foreign policy adviser to the Iraqi parliament

Bilal Wahab – Wagner fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Zeidon Alkinani – Non-resident fellow at the Arab Center Washington, DC