Al Sadr Tells Supporters to Leave Parliament Building

Published August 3rd, 2022 - 03:02 GMT
In parliament
Supporters of the Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr gather inside the country's parliament in Baghdad's high-security Green Zone, July 30, 2022. (AFP)

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Tuesday called on his supporters to leave the parliament building amid protests against the nomination of a new prime minister by groups close to Iran.  

In a statement, al-Sadr urged protesters to evacuate the building in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone within 72 hours. The influential leader, however, called on supporters to maintain their sit-in around the parliament HQ.  

Al-Sadr also called on his supporters to gather to perform the weekly Friday prayers on Aug. 5 in the Green Zone, which houses Iraqi government offices and several foreign embassies.  

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi called on pro-Sadr protesters to end their demonstrations and hold dialogue among the country’s political groups.  

Tension escalated across Iraq since last week following the nomination of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani as a new prime minister by the Coordination Framework, a coalition of groups close to Iran. The move, however, triggered protests from supporters of al-Sadr.

Iraq has been in a political deadlock for nine months following the country’s general elections last October, which failed since then to agree on a new government between the rival parties.

* Sohaila Barghash in Ankara contributed to this report.

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