Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr speaks to a crowd outside his home in the Shiite holy city of Najaf.
Anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has returned home to Iraq from his self-imposed exile in Iran, delivering a speech urging support for the new Maliki government and resistance against the U.S.—but not necessarily through armed struggle. —JCL
Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged a sea of rapturous followers Saturday to resist all occupiers of Iraq and oppose the United States, but not necessarily with arms.
In his first speech since his homecoming Wednesday after years of self-imposed exile in Iran, the one-time firebrand burnished his anti-U.S. credentials and urged supporters to give Iraq’s new government led by Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki a chance.
“We are still fighters,” said Sadr, who led two uprisings against the U.S. military after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and has called for an earlier U.S. withdrawal than the agreed deadline of the end of this year.