Inside Story

Is Muqtada al-Sadr fueling Shia infighting in Iraq?

Shia cleric has been rallying supporters to put pressure on PM al-Abadi to act against corruption.

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is putting pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to carry out reforms to fight corruption.

Sadr has managed to rally a huge number of angry Iraqi protesters who are demanding Abadi introduce reforms to put an end to corruption.

Last month, Sadr demanded Iraqi politicians be replaced with technocrats and the country’s powerful Shia militias be incorporated into the ministries of defence and interior.

In the following weeks he called on his supporters to take to the streets, and each Friday their numbers grew.

While Iraq’s political leadership has proposed multiple reform plans, some echoing Sadr’s own demands, progress in parliament has been slow.

So, how far will Sadr go to push for change? And is this only about fighting corruption?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Renad Mansour – Fellow at the Iraq Institute for Strategic Studies.

Saad Jawad – Professor of political science at the London School of Economics.