Baghdad and other cities in southern Iraq saw mass protests against the country getting involved in a potential war between the United States and Iran.
Sadr urged the protesters, that took place on Friday, to shout for the unity of Iraq, dress in the Iraqi uniform and fly balloons with the Iraqi flag on it. He also called for carrying out a campaign on social media with #against_war hashtag in Arabic, English and Farsi.
Last week, Sadr warned that the war between United States and Iran could put the end for Iraq. He called for preventing anyone from getting Iraq involved in the war or making it a battlefield. “We are in need for serious stop with senior officials to get Iraq away from that war, which will destroy Iraq.”
The protests, according to Sadr, “comes to support Iraq’s peace and security and to keep it away from regional and international conflicts as well as the anticipated war in the region.”
A source from Sadr’s office said the protests “come in response to the US-Iran escalation to keep Iran away from the two sides. They are also an indirect response to the silence of the Iraqi government which did not declare its stance toward the war.”
Meanwhile, Salam al-Shemari, political analyst, said “the popular declaration against the war and getting Iraq into war is a smart step as the government did not declare its stance. Moreover the diplomatic efforts did not reach anything for more than two weeks.”
He also indicated “mediation talks between Tehran and Washington, however, Washington seems to be determined for penalizing Iran. Whatever the penalty was, it’s an indirect penalty for Iraq, being linked with its neighbor politically and economically.”
Sadr, according to Shemari, “seeks through his popularity to create an opponent public opinion against getting Iraq into US-Iran war. What’s important for him is not the war itself, but keeping Iraq away from it.”