Middle East

Iraq's Sadr closes Facebook account with 'goodbye' post

Move leads to speculation Shia cleric 'withdrew from politics'

14.12.2019
Iraq's Sadr closes Facebook account with 'goodbye' post File photo

By Haydar Karaalp

BAGHDAD

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr closed his Facebook account Friday, writing "goodbye" on a black background on the social media site.

The move led to speculations that al-Sadr "withdrew from politics" in response to an agreement between political parties regarding the prime minister candidacy of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, supported by groups close to Iran.

Al-Sadr also replaced his profile picture, an image of his father Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, also known as a Shia religious authority, with a picture of a black background with the world "closed" written on it.

Earlier, al-Sadr said in two statements on Facebook that he is against the candidacy of al-Sudani, who is a former Minister of Labour and Social Affairs.

Al-Sadr’s Twitter account remains open.

Iraq has been rocked by mass protests since early October over poor living conditions and corruption, forcing Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi to resign.

According to Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights, at least 460 Iraqis have been killed and 17,000 have been injured since the protests began Oct. 1.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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