Populist Iraqi cleric announces suspension of his movementApril 14, 2023 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Influential Iraqi Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr announced on Friday that he would suspend the movement he leads for one year, citing “corruption” among some of his followers.
Influential Iraqi cleric launches anti-LGBTQ campaignDecember 2, 2022 GMT
An influential Iraqi cleric who announced his withdrawal from politics four months ago has broken a period of relative silence to launch an anti-LGBTQ campaign.
At least 9 killed in Baghdad gas tanker explosionOctober 29, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — A gas tanker exploded near a soccer field in northeastern Baghdad on Saturday, killing at least nine people and wounding 10 others, according to security officials.
Shrapnel from the tanker tore into residential buildings and into the soccer pitch.
Iraqi parliament approves new Cabinet in long-awaited voteOctober 28, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's parliament gave its vote of confidence to a new Cabinet on Thursday, breaking a yearlong political stalemate. It's the first government since 2005 that doesn't include members from the bloc of a powerful Shiite cleric.
Iraq: 4 officers wounded in Baghdad Green Zone rocket fireSeptember 28, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Four Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone government area Wednesday, wounding four security officers, Iraqi state news reported.
The rockets landed as parliament voted to keep Speaker Mohammed Halbousi on the job, rejecting his resignation request.
Iraq top court says it can’t dissolve parliament amid crisisSeptember 7, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's top court ruled Wednesday that it does not have the legal right to dissolve parliament, a much anticipated decision that raises the stakes in the country's unprecedented 11-month political crisis.
No end to crisis as Iraq’s PM ends second round of talksSeptember 5, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's caretaker prime minister convened a second round of talks Monday with Iraqi leaders aimed at resolving the ongoing political crisis between rival Shiite blocs, but the representatives of an influential cleric failed once again to attend the gathering.
4 militiamen killed in reprisal attacks in southern IraqSeptember 2, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Four militants were killed in reprisal attacks between rival Shiite militia groups in southern Iraq, two security officials said Thursday, after violent clashes in Baghdad brought the country to the precipice of street warfare.
Political crisis continues in Baghdad after bloody clashesAugust 31, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi paramilitary forces killed in heavy clashes with the supporters of a powerful Shiite cleric were laid to rest on Wednesday as Iraq’s parliament speaker announced three days of mourning.
Iraqis heed cleric’s plea to leave streets after clashesAugust 31, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital began to withdraw from the streets Tuesday, restoring a measure of calm after a serious escalation of the nation's political crisis.
EXPLAINER: What spurred the bloody armed clashes in Baghdad?August 30, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s long-running power struggle between rival Shiite camps devolved into bloody street violence this week – the culmination of months of simmering tensions and a political vacuum.
Clashes erupt after Iraqi Shiite cleric resigns, 15 deadAugust 30, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — An influential Shiite cleric announced Monday that he would resign from Iraqi politics, prompting hundreds of his angry followers to storm the government palace and sparking clashes with security forces.
Iraqi PM: Political crisis undermining security achievementsAugust 27, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi warned Saturday that the political crisis in the country is threatening security achievements made in past years.
Al-Kadhimi’s warning is a clear indication of the dangers of one of Iraq’s worst political crises since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Explosive detonates in Baghdad, targets Australian diplomatsAugust 26, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — A small homemade explosive detonated on Friday near Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone as an Australian diplomatic convoy made its way into the area, two security officials told The Associated Press.
Iraq Shiite cleric’s supporters demand assembly be dissolvedAugust 23, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of supporters of an influential Shiite cleric in Iraq rallied on Tuesday in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, demanding the dissolution of parliament and early elections.
Iraqi PM calls meeting of senior politicians to end crisisAugust 17, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s caretaker prime minister called a meeting of senior political leaders and party representatives Wednesday, seeking a way out of a monthslong crisis amid a power struggle between rival Shiite blocs.
Iraq’s finance minister resigns over political crisisAugust 16, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's finance minister resigned Tuesday, two government officials said, over the country's worst political crisis in years involving an influential Shiite cleric and his Iran-aligned rivals.
Despite public anger, no progress in Iraq political deadlockAugust 14, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Weeks after followers of an influential cleric stormed parliament, Iraq’s political crisis shows no signs of abating, despite rising public anger over a debilitating gridlock that has further weakened the country's caretaker government and its ability to provide basic services.
Iraqi judiciary says it has no powers to dissolve parliamentAugust 14, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top judicial body said Sunday it doesn't have the authority to dissolve the country’s parliament, days after an influential Shiite cleric gave it one week to dismiss the legislature so that new elections can be held.
Rival Iraq protests underscore inter-Shiite power struggleAugust 12, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Supporters of Iran-backed Shiite groups rallied in Baghdad on Friday to denounce their rivals, followers of an influential Shiite cleric who stormed the parliament last month and have since been holding a sit-in outside the assembly building in the Iraqi capital.
Iraq Shiite cleric behind parliament sit-in steps up demandsAugust 10, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — An influential Shiite cleric in Iraq whose supporters earlier this month stormed the parliament in Baghdad and have since held a sit-in outside the building, stepped up his demands Wednesday and issued a veiled threat of renewed violence.
Protesters block roads in Iraq after third day of power cutsAugust 8, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Demonstrators blocked roads as protests broke out in southern Iraq on Monday after power outages left many without electricity during scorching peak summer heat.
Temperatures reached 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), nearly matching last year's record high.
In Baghdad’s Sadr City, cleric’s support underpins protestsAugust 5, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Khalil Ibrahim’s four sons are among thousands of followers of an influential Shiite cleric staging a sit-in outside Iraq’s parliament after storming the building last week in a stunning move that threw the country into a new era of political instability.
Hundreds of thousands gather for mass prayer in BaghdadAugust 5, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis heeded the call of an influential Shiite cleric to gather in a show of strength for a mass prayer in the heart of Baghdad's government zone on Friday. The gathering took place amid an escalating political crisis that has put the country's capital on edge.
Iraqi cleric calls for dissolution of parliament, early voteAugust 3, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr told followers Wednesday to continue their sit-in inside Iraq’s government zone, and called for the dissolution of parliament and early elections, signaling a deepening power struggle with his rivals.
Followers of cleric told to withdraw from Iraq’s parliamentAugust 2, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Followers of an influential Shiite cleric camped out inside the Iraqi parliament building for a fourth straight day were instructed Tuesday to leave the building but maintain their protest outside.
Threat of protests, violent escalation stirs fears in IraqAugust 1, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands gathered in Baghdad on Monday for a counter-rally called by Iran-backed groups against their rival, an influential cleric whose followers are staging a sit-in inside the Iraqi parliament — only to withdraw hours later.
Iraq cleric’s followers camped out in parliament for 2nd dayJuly 31, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — With mattresses strewn about, food trucked in and protesters playacting as lawmakers, hundreds of followers of an influential Shiite cleric were camped out Sunday inside the Iraqi parliament after toppling security walls around the building and storming in the previous day.
Iraqi protesters storm parliament in Baghdad, set up sit-inJuly 30, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands of followers of an influential Shiite cleric stormed into Iraq's parliament on Saturday, for the second time this week, protesting government formation efforts led by his rivals, an alliance of Iran-backed groups.
EXPLAINER: What’s behind the storming of Iraq’s parliament?July 29, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — The followers of the influential populist Shiite cleric came by the thousands to storm Iraq's parliament. Just as quickly, the protesters dispersed at his command.
Mass mobilization and control is a well-worn strategy of Muqtada al-Sadr, a mercurial figure who has emerged as a powerful force in Iraq’s cutthroat political scene with a nationalist, anti-Iran agenda.
Followers of cleric enter Iraqi parliament in show of forceJuly 28, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqi protesters breached Baghdad’s parliament Wednesday chanting anti-Iran curses in a demonstration against a nominee for prime minister by Iran-backed parties.
The majority of the protesters were followers of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.
Iraq parliament swears in new members after walkout of 73June 23, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Parliament swore in dozens of new lawmakers on Thursday, replacing 73 legislators loyal to powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, strengthening the power of rival Iran-backed Shiite factions in the assembly.
Iraqi leaders vow to move ahead after dozens quit parliamentJune 13, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi leaders vowed Monday to move forward with efforts to form a government following the shocking resignation of 73 lawmakers from parliament during a prolonged political impasse.
Lawmakers from Iraq’s biggest bloc resign amid impasseJune 12, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Dozens of lawmakers who make up the biggest bloc in Iraq's parliament resigned on Sunday amid a prolonged political impasse, plunging the divided nation into political uncertainty.
Iraqi lawmakers pass bill criminalizing any ties with IsraelMay 27, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill criminalizing normalization of ties and any relations, including business ties, with Israel. The legislation says that violation of the law is punishable with the death sentence or life imprisonment.
Iraqi cleric steps back, asks rivals to try form governmentMarch 31, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — A powerful Iraqi Shiite cleric said Thursday that he was stepping back for the next 40 days and giving his Iran-backed rivals the chance to form the country's next government.
The surprising move by Muqtada al-Sadr comes against the backdrop of a persisting political deadlock in Iraq, five months after general elections.
Iraq court bars veteran Kurdish politician from presidencyFebruary 13, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top court banned a veteran Kurdish politician from the country's presidency on Sunday, citing lingering corruption allegations.
Hoshyar Zebari, a former foreign minister and longtime Iraqi diplomat, had been a front-runner competing against the sitting president, Barham Salih.
Iraqi lawmakers fail to elect new president amid boycottFebruary 7, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi lawmakers failed to elect a new head of state Monday, as key factions foiled the attempt by boycotting the parliament session.
A two-thirds quorum of the legislature’s 329 members is required for an electoral session.
Iraq’s new parliament holds 1st session marked by disarrayJanuary 9, 2022 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s new parliament reelected its speaker for a second term Sunday, the first step toward forming a new government after a general election whose results have been contested by powerful Iran-backed factions.
Iraq’s top court rejects appeal contesting election resultsDecember 27, 2021 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Iran-backed factions contesting the results of country's parliamentary elections held in October. The development marked another boost for an influential Shiite cleric who had been confirmed as the winner of the vote.
Iraq electoral commission confirms October election resultsNovember 30, 2021 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — The final results announced by Iraq’s electoral commission on Tuesday confirmed Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr as the biggest winner in last month's vote, securing 73 out of Parliament’s 329 seats.
Analysis: Iraq vote underscores divisions over Iran’s roleOctober 12, 2021 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s Shiite militias that often serve as a proxy for neighboring Iran have taken a beating in Iraq’s election, while a Shiite cleric who set himself apart by taking a more nationalistic approach has emerged as Iraq’s strongest political figure.
Partial results show pro-Iran groups losing Iraq electionOctober 11, 2021 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — An alliance of Iraqi candidates representing Shiite militias supported by neighboring Iran has emerged as the biggest loser in the country’s national elections, according to partial results released Monday.
Iraq pushes vaccine rollout amid widespread apathy, distrustMay 5, 2021 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s vaccine roll-out had been faltering for weeks. Apathy, fear and rumors kept many from getting vaccinated despite a serious surge in coronavirus infections and calls by the government for people to register for shots...
Women protesters in Iraq defy radical cleric, take to streetFebruary 13, 2020 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Hundreds of Iraqi women took to the streets of central Baghdad and southern Iraq on Thursday in defiance of a radical cleric's calls for gender segregation at anti-government protest sites.
Iraqis wake up to snow for first time in over a decadeFebruary 11, 2020 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's capital of Baghdad awoke on Tuesday to a sight not seen in over a decade — their city covered in snow...
Iraq’s top cleric calls for state to protect protestsFebruary 7, 2020 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric called for security forces to protect anti-government protesters in a Friday sermon, after weeks of violence in Baghdad and southern Iraq, and amid seething tensions between demonstrators and followers of a radical preacher...
Iraqi blocs select new PM-designate after weeks of jockeyingFebruary 1, 2020 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — Former communications minister Mohammed Allawi was named prime minister-designate by rival Iraqi factions Saturday after weeks of political deadlock...
The Latest: Iraq Parliament speaker says he supports demandsOctober 4, 2019 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on developments in Iraq, amid deadly violence over anti-government protests (all times local):...
Pompeo speaks to Iraqi leaders at ‘this critical time’September 1, 2018 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Saturday with two Iraqi leaders to express support for Iraq's efforts to form a "moderate, nationalist" government that would serve all Iraqis, his spokeswoman said...
Early results in Iraq election favor populist cleric al-SadrMay 14, 2018 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — A populist coalition organized by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr emerged as the front-runner Monday with more than half the vote counted in Iraq's national elections...
Iraqi Shiite cleric gained ground with nationalist voiceMay 14, 2018 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — In the years following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the young cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burst onto the scene as a renegade champion of poorer Shiites, leading militant fighters who carried out deadly attacks on American forces and were notorious for sectarian killings against Sunni Muslims.
Shiite cleric Sadr leads in Iraq’s initial election resultsMay 14, 2018 GMT
BAGHDAD (AP) — The political coalition of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr took an early lead in Iraq's national elections in partial returns announced late Sunday by the Iraqi electoral commission...
10 Things to Know for MondayMay 14, 2018 GMT
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:...