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Is Iran about to cut Muqtada al-Sadr loose?

While refraining from breaking with Muqtada al-Sadr and his rebellious followers, Iran is not fully embracing the Iraqi cleric either.
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TEHRAN, Iran — The first chapter in the political life of Muqtada al-Sadr opened with the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and his armed resistance against foreign forces. In subsequent years, he gradually scaled back such activity and began to cooperate with the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki while continuing to insist that US troops withdraw from Iraq.

The next chapter began in August 2015, when Sadr rallied some 100,000 Iraqis in Baghdad's Tahrir Square in a protest against what he believed to be corruption and partisanship in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a clear sign of Sadr's return to the political scene. On Feb. 26, he again mobilized hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to take to the streets of Baghdad to protest against the incapability of the government to establish a nonpartisan and technocratic Cabinet.

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