News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqMoqtada Sadr moving to Beirut?

Moqtada Sadr moving to Beirut?

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UPI: Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr is considering relocating from Iran to Lebanon to escape political pressure from officials in Tehran, sources said.

United Press International

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 26 (UPI) — Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr is considering relocating from Iran to Lebanon to escape political pressure from officials in Tehran, sources said.

Sadr has been reportedly continuing his studies under the authority of Shiite clerics in Iran since he left Iraq in 2007 and makes few public appearances.

Iraqi and Lebanese sources who spoke to London’s pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat said Sadr was considering a move to Beirut to escape political pressure in Iran.

The sources said that Sadr was frustrated with continued Iranian pressure to support Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for a second term in office. There is lingering acrimony between the two Shiite leaders stemming in part from a military offensive launched by Maliki against Sadr supporters in southern Iraq in 2008.

“Sadr rejected all pressures and proposals made by Iranian officials, including political and material incentives for his approval of the nomination of Maliki,” a source said. “These days he is seriously planning to go to Lebanon and it is possible to relocate to Beirut.”

Sadr during July meetings in Damascus expressed his support for Iyad Allawi, whose Iraqiya slate won a two-seat victory in March 7 elections in Iraq.

The report added that Sadr owns property in Beirut. He would return to Iraq, the sources added, when Maliki is no longer in power.

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