Sadrist Movement

Led by Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the Sadrist Movement (Al-Tayar Al-Sadri) endorses a unified Iraqi society whose foundation lies in Islamic Sharia law. The group boasts a strong militia wing, the Mahdi Army (Jaysh Al-Mahdi) with an ability to mobilize quickly within the working-class Shi’ite neighborhoods in which it is based. The stronghold of the group is Sadr City, which has a population of 2.5 million. A key component of the Sadrist platform is the demand for the cessation of foreign influence in Iraq from the US and “excessive” foreign influence in Iraq on the part of Iran. This, despite the fact that Sadrist followers continue to be trained and financed by Iran, while Sadr himself lived was in what was termed “self-imposed exile” in Iran until January 2011. The group also receives campaigning support from Lebanon’s Hezbollah.