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January 7, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8476

Shi'ite Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr Lashes Out At President Trump; Spokesperson Tones Down Earlier Statement On Harsher Actions Against U.S.

January 7, 2020
Iran, Iraq | Special Dispatch No. 8476

Iraqi Shi'ite Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, leader of the Sadr Movement, issued an online statement on January 6, addressing U.S. President Donald Trump in the aftermath of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

The statement[1] comes in response to President Trump's threat to impose sanctions on Iraq, if the latter demands a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq.


(Source: Twitter.com)

Using offensive language, Al-Sadr starts by challenging President Trump's threats: "Are you threatening a nation with hunger [sanctions] you son of the casinos? Are you threatening a nation with a blockade, you son of gambling halls? Are you threatening a nation with punishment, you son of the night clubs?"

He further sullies Saudi-U.S. cooperation, the U.S. intelligence community, and the U.S.'s military arsenal. "Do you think that Saudi money will benefit you? Do you think that the traitors will benefit you? Do you think that Saudi money will benefit you? Do you think your war arsenal will bring you any good? Do you think your spies will inform you? Your weapons are weaker than a mosquito's prick," he tweeted.

Al-Sadr then vows that he will strike back if the U.S. decides to impose sanctions on Iraq: "No, [I vow] by the lord of the dancers [used to describe Camels] Your house is weaker than a spiderweb. Your weapons are weaker than a mosquito's prick."

Citing the Vietnam war as an example, Al-Sadr asserts that he and his followers can defeat the U.S. in another confrontation: "Did you forget Vietnam? Or are you yearning for another mess? By God, you will meet an army that you cannot stand against, and legions that will start in Basrah and end in Dohuk".

Commenting on the rising tension between Baghdad and Washington, Al-Sadr said that the U.S. is an occupier not a liberator. "Your intentions have become clear today. He who wanted to liberate us yesterday, today wants us [kneel] on our knees. Trump, if you dared to attack the country of our holy sites, then I shall deal with you. And if you want my advice, don't be like your predecessor, or else you shall regret it."

He concludes by noting that he seeks peace, while reminding President Trump that he [Al-Sadr] will "seek war, if you wage war," and that he who starts this war is the oppressor. Al-Sadr signed his statement with "your enemy".

On January 5, Al-Sadr, in a statement,[2] demands that the Iraqi parliament take harsher actions to end the U.S. presence in Iraq, including an "immediate cancellation of the security agreement, a boycott of American products." He also calls on the Iraqi "resistance factions and the factions outside Iraq for an immediate meeting to announce the formation of international resistance regiments."

However, his spokesperson issued an online statement[3] that clarifies some details and tones down some of Al-Sadr's recommendations for the parliament.


(Source: Twitter.com)

The statement says that Al-Sadr proposes that no military action should take place against the U.S. until the parliament and the government run out of options, noting that any faction that takes military action before then does not represent Al-Sadr.

He further warns that no factions that are based outside Iraq should operate inside Iraq, just like Iraqi factions should not operate outside Iraq.

He then thanks those who responded positively to his call for holding a meeting for all factions, saying that this call should not be taken on a sectarian basis, and explaining that he has no intentions of being the commander of this alliance. He also says that Al-Salam Brigades, which he commands, will not be involved in this proposed meeting.

As for Al-Sadr's call to boycott American products, the statement from his spokesman explains that the boycott "will not include products that provide necessary technology, aside from those related to industrial or agriculture products."

He goes further to say that "the U.S. terrorist aggression on the sovereignty [of Iraq] is a terrorist act and that anyone who promotes it, or stays silent about it, is a traitor."

On January 5, anonymous Iraqi hackers,[4] who are supportive of the anti-Iran protesters, posted a letter in Arabic and English on Al-Sadr's official website.

The message also includes a photo of Al-Sadr who has the Iranian flag on his face.

The message in Arabic reads: "How many pure innocent souls of women and children have you killed over the past years? How much money have you stolen over the past years from the budget of the State that belongs to the poor families and the people of Iraq? Do you really fight in the name of Imam Al-Mahdi? Imam Al-Mahdi is absolved of you, Mohammad Sadik Al-Sadr [Muqatda's father] is absolved of you, if he knew of your sins, he would disown you, you criminal. The Iraqi people should remember that your hands are stained with the blood of more than 10 thousand Iraqis. The mask has fallen".


(Source: Twitter.com)

The English message asks the international community, including the United States, to extend help to the Iraqi people, and help them get rid of Muqtada Al-Sadr, who it describes as a "criminal" who wants to "put Iraq in the downward spiral of war."


(Source: Twitter.com)

 

[1] Twitter.com/Mu_AlSadr/status/1214248564693618688/photo/1, January 6, 2020.

[3] Twitter.com/salih_m_iraqi, January 6, 2020.

[4] Twitter.com/m4xpro_, January 5, 2020.

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