Shiite cleric

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Saudi Arabia to Iran: We're Done

Conflict grows over execution of Shiekh Nimr al-Nimr

(Newser) - Saudi Arabia is severing diplomatic ties with Iran amid spiking tensions over the execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric. Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said late Sunday evening that Iranian diplomatic personnel had 48 hours to leave the country and all Saudi diplomatic personnel in Iran were being recalled... More »

Libya's Revolt Could Solve Riddle of Missing Cleric

Moussa al-Sadr disappeared in 1978

(Newser) - Thanks to the Libyan revolution, Lebanon thinks it may finally learn the answer to a mystery that’s been vexing it for decades: What happened to Moussa al-Sadr? The cleric, a seminal figure in the Shiite empowerment movement, disappeared during a trip to Tripoli in 1978, the AP explains. Now,... More »

Muqtada al-Sadr: We Reject America

Cleric gives fiery speech after ending 4-year exile

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr returned to Iraq Thursday after a four-year exile, and his first speech back made it clear that absence hadn't made the Shiite cleric's heart grow fonder of the US. "Let the whole world hear that we reject America. No, no to the occupier," the fiery 37-year-old... More »

Muqtada al-Sadr Returns to Iraq

Anti-American cleric's political influence rising

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr—the radical Shiite cleric whose militia was involved in some of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war—returned to Iraq today, after almost four years of self-imposed exile in Iran. Sadr finds himself with newfound political influence, after throwing his party’s weight behind Nouri al-Maliki, and... More »

Reformers Teargassed as Iran's Top Cleric Demands Change

(Newser) - Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the former Iranian president and most powerful supporter of Mir Hossein Mousavi, addressed thousands of young reformists in green today in a highly anticipated sermon that may trigger further protests. The visibly upset cleric demanded that all political prisoners be freed and lamented that "we had... More »

Sadr Cultivates Respect, Image to Reflect Power

Militia chief moves toward mainstream, hones clerical chops

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr aims to shed his reputation as a dim-witted thug and become a respected Iraqi cleric like his father, the Washington Post reports, and has even spent the past year studying in Iran. Sadr, then nicknamed "Muqtada Atari" for his love of video games, was 25 when the... More »

Iran Played Key Role in al-Sadr Ceasefire

Iraqi lawmakers met cleric in Iran before deal was struck

(Newser) - Iran played a key role in convincing Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to call a ceasefire in Basra yesterday, CNN reports. Iraqi lawmakers from five Shiite parties traveled to Iran on Friday to meet with al-Sadr, and returned yesterday, right before al-Sadr's injunction to halt violence in Basra, an Iraqi official... More »

Easter Bombings in Iraq Kill at Least 57

Al-Qaeda bomber kills 13 in Mosul, while rockets hit Green Zone

(Newser) - Despite a yearlong decline in violence in Iraq, a series of attacks on Easter Sunday killed at least 57, reports the AP. In the most severe, a suicide car bomber killed at least 13 Iraqi soldiers and wounded 42 people at a military base in Mosul, an al-Qaeda holdout. A... More »

Sadr Extends Ceasefire 6 Months

Rumors confirmed as cleric calls on Mahdi Army to freeze activities

(Newser) - Muqtada al-Sadr has extended the ceasefire of his Mahdi Army by six months, writes the Wall Street Journal, confirming yesterday's rumors from US officials. At midday prayers across Iraq imams read out the announcement of the Shiite cleric, who had been under pressure from some of his followers to allow... More »

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