Iraq’s Unexpected Move Against US Over Israel Affiliation

Prominent Shi’ite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, urged the Iraqi administration and its legislative body on Friday to shut down the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, citing Washington’s unwavering backing for Israel.

In a released statement, he warned, “Should the government and parliament ignore this request, we will take additional measures, details of which will be revealed later.”

The influential leader boasts a massive following in Iraq, with millions resonating with his ideals. Historically, al-Sadr has demonstrated the capacity to mobilize vast crowds, predominantly from the Shi’ite working class, to wield political influence.

Distinctively, Sadr stands against Iranian intervention in Iraq, differing from several Shi’ite leaders who maintain strong affiliations with Tehran. He has consistently been a critic of the U.S. and has pushed for the withdrawal of the remaining U.S. forces stationed in Iraq.

Earlier in June, his adherents aggressively entered and torched the Swedish embassy in Baghdad, a protest prompted by the desecration of the Koran in Sweden. This act was initiated by Sadr’s call.

In the preceding year, al-Sadr directed his followers to breach the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, a hub for governmental establishments and foreign embassies, resulting in the occupation of the parliament.