News ID: 323827
Published: 0259 GMT August 29, 2022

Iraq developments: Ayatollah Haeri resigns from Shia leadership, Sadr quits politics

Iraq developments: Ayatollah Haeri resigns from Shia leadership, Sadr quits politics

International Desk

Iraq continues to witness new political developments. On Monday, hours after Ayatollah Kadhim Husseini al-Haeri resigned as senior Shia authority, influential Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr announced that he would quit politics, which prompted his supporters to storm the presidential palace. Authorities imposed a curfew in the capital Baghdad afterwards.

Ayatollah Haeri, one of the Shia authorities in Iraq, announced in a statement that he was withdrawing from the position due to old age and illness. He urged believers to obey Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, calling him the “best and most qualified [person] to lead the Islamic Ummah”.

In Ayatollah Haeri’s statement, there is also a reference to Moqtada Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement, and its revered martyrs. Sayyed Muhammad Sadr, one of the influential Iraqi Shia clerics, the father of Moqtada, was assassinated in 1998 during the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. His cousin Sayyed Muhammad Baqir Sadr was also one of the Shia authorities in Iraq.

Ayatollah Haeri said, “Anyone who tries to divide the nation or assume leadership under the name of the two martyrs while lacking qualifications for being a religious leader is, in fact, not a Sadrist”.


Moqtada Sadr issues statement

“Although I know that the resignation of Ayatollah Haeri and the issuance of this statement was not his personal will, I also declare that I will no longer interfere in political affairs and, from now on, I will completely withdraw from the field and I will shut all offices related to me except the shrine, museum and the Sadr Dynasty Heritage Institute,” he said in his statement.

But this was not the end of Monday’s events in Iraq. Sadr’s supporters – who had occupied the Parliament and held a sit-in in front of Iraq’s Supreme Court in the past weeks – broke into the presidential palace.

Today, the Supreme Judicial Council is set to issue a verdict on the requests of the Sadrist movement to dissolve Parliament.



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