Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rumors of an arrest warrant against Moqtada al-Sadr

I do not expect to see Sadr arrested. Moqtada Al Sadr is influential enough and has enough sources of support that if he is in the country, he has a reasonable expectation that he is safe there. Iran, since 2007 has not needed Sadr's ability to attack US forces in Iraq, and has held a tacit agreement that Maliki, who is not extremely offensive to the Americans will have an unchallenged rule as he oversees an orderly, relatively honorable but essentially complete US military withdrawal from the country.

I'm not sure what to make of reports that there is a warrant for the arrests of 13 figures of whom Sadr is the sixth.
But The Associated Press has obtained a new arrest warrant dated Feb. 7 that lists al-Sadr along with 13 other men as wanted in the killing of al-Khoie. The copy of the warrant was provided by a top government official familiar with the warrant. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the document.

Officials at the Supreme Judicial Council, an independent body, did not respond to repeated attempts for comment, but the warrant's authenticity was confirmed by Aydan Khaled Qader, the deputy interior minister in charge of police, who authorizes the arrest of suspects. Al-Sadr's name is sixth on the list.
Maliki denies that there is a warrant for Sadr's arrest. The impression left by the affair is that Sadr is being persecuted by the Maliki government - Sadr's supporters will assume on behalf of the Americans - which strengthens Sadr's image as an independent Iraqi patriot.

The important story in Iraq will soon be the election results, and the formation of Iraq's government going forward into an Iraq that very likely will have many fewer levers for US influence. News in Iraq is really on hold until the electoral dust settles. Sadr may have gotten a small boost by the fact that the warrant became public but we'll have no idea what it means until the vote counts are reported.


b said...

Sadr was supposed to come to Iraq today or tomorrow to rally his folks for Sunday's election.

The warrant rumor may have had the simple intent to keep him away until the election is over.

Anonymous said...

Enmity with God, latest charge of former Tehran University president
radio zamaneh via payvand
07-Mar-2010 (one comment)
Mohmmad Maleki, former president of Tehran University, has been accused of "enmity with God" (Moharebeh) according to his lawyer, Mohammad Sharif. Reportedly, he is accused of "insulting Imam Khomeini and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei as well as propaganda against the regime."