is clearly a nationalist, just not 'anti-Iran' in the way some observers think he is.
Some now believe that Al Sadr
lied during the elections, claiming that he never had a sincere desire to withdraw from Iran's orbit but only walked the line to win votes, peddling high profile theatrics, like calling on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to step down and travelling to Jeddah in the summer of 2017, where he was received by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
While his popularity had appeared to recede in recent years, the 44-year-old Sadr
has gained wide support among Iraq's large Shi'ite Arab tribes enabling him to draw huge crowds none of the others in Iraq could have.
, the founder of Amal Movement, now headed by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, disappeared during a visit to Libya on Aug.
On the death of his father, Sadr
opened an office in Najaf to receive condolences but Saddam's secret police quickly closed it.
On the surface, it seems that Sadr
and Abadi should be on the same side.
Hannibal Qadhafi, who was three years old when Sadr
disappeared, indicated he knew nothing about what happened to Sadr
but urged in the video that those who do know should come forward and "give the truth."
One official from Sadr
's office told AFP that no one wanted to discuss the issue "because it was a surprise decision." "I do not think it will be reversed...
suspended the militia's activities in 2008 following fierce battles with Iraqi and US security forces.
"It has been said that the weapons (Iraq is purchasing) are American, so the trainers should be American also," Sadr
said in an address broadcast on Al-Masar television.
, a once widely influential Lebanese Shia cleric of Iranian descent, was the founder of the Lebanese Shiite Amal Movement.
However, Allawi is said to calculate his proposed alliance with Sadr
and other groups would have a majority of over 180 seats in the legislature and thus defeat Maleki.