Sadr’s Unlikely Political Transformation in Iraq Confounds Both the U.S. and Iran

Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, May 14, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
Supporters of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr celebrate in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, May 14, 2018 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

Iraqis went to the polls last weekend in an election that was closely watched by outside powers, especially Iran and the United States. Both Tehran and Washington had hoped voters would solidify their own respective plans for Iraq by choosing their preferred candidates to lead the next government in Baghdad. The results came as a shock. It’s early in the government-forming process and surprises could still occur. But the election alone suggests the biggest geopolitical loser from Iraq’s latest democratic exercise was neighboring Iran. That doesn’t mean, however, that the U.S. found much to celebrate in the results. The top […]

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