The next for Iraq after Sadr's comeback?

Doplang News, The enigmatic cleric mobilized millions of poor Shi'ite Muslims after the 2003 invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein and his militia battled U.S. forces. His return could mean a shift away from fiery rhetoric in the wake of his bloc's political gains in last year's election.

The support of the Sadrists, thought to have been brokered at least in part by Iran, was crucial in securing a second term for Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ending a 9-month deadlock over the formation of a government.
Embracing the political process, rather than armed struggle, the Sadrist movement toned down its religious rhetoric, and cast itself as less sectarian in last year's election. It focused on public services, and grabbed 39 seats in Iraq's 325-parliament and seven ministries in Iraq's new government.

His Mehdi Army militia played a big role in violence against Sunnis during the peak of sectarian warfare in 2006-07.

military withdraws and Iraq seeks to use its tremendous oil wealth to rebuild.

The following are some scenarios:


The first question is whether Sadr will stay, or go back to Iran.

But some of Sadr's companions who escorted him from Iran gave the impression he is here to stay, a Sadrist official said. Sadr himself has not made any public announcement of his plans.


But Sadr is not expected to seek a role in government.

In his first statement issued after his return, Sadr criticized followers who jostled and shoved each other to get a glimpse of him when he arrived. He said their chants and slogans damaged the reputation of the Sadr family, and urged restraint.