[size=36]Sadr's image in Iran sparks a wave of reactions and comments[/size]
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The leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, met Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a rare meeting against the backdrop of divisions among Iraq's Shiite leaders.
Iran, Iraq's powerful neighbor, with the United States is one of two influential forces in Baghdad, notably through Qasim Soleimani, the general in charge of the IRGC's foreign operations who regularly visits Iraq and played a key role in fighting IS.
Aside from a rare meeting between Ayatollah Khamenei and Moqtada al-Sadr, Sadr's leader and former Mehdi Army commander also met with Judiciary Chief Ibrahim Raisi and other officials on Tuesday, Ashura, Iranian state media reported.
The publication of footage showing Muqtada al-Sadr in Iran during the anniversary of Ashura, celebrated by millions from all over the world in Karbala, Iraq, caused controversy.
Some in the local media and on social media said Iran had "summoned" the Sadrist leader who traveled to Saudi Arabia, Tehran's regional rival two years ago and refused to join the pro-government camp after the May 2018 legislative elections
. This visit and these high-level meetings are evidence that Tehran has chosen to support Muqtada al-Sadr instead of the Fatah alliance of former anti-Islamic State fighters, most of whom have emerged from pro-Iranian Shiite factions.
A week ago, Sadr, who was at the forefront of anti-corruption protests with a large number of Twitter followers in Iraq, launched a campaign against the hard line in this alliance, accusing him of wanting "a transition from a law-controlled state to a riot state. "The government is cracking down," he said.
Tuesday's Ashura in Karbala witnessed the death of at least 31 people in the stampede