Iraq’s cleric sets conditions for dealing with Washington when taking office

Iraq’s prominent Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr set several conditions on Saturday to deal with the United States if his Sadrist Movement takes office.

One of the conditions is that the diplomatic relations between the United States and Iraq should be “state-to-state with full sovereignty,” al-Sadr tweeted, after his party appeared the frontrunner in the Oct. 10 parliamentary elections.

Al-Sadr noted that the talks should be serious about the U.S. troops’ withdrawal from Iraq.

He also called on Washington not to interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs and to keep Iraq away from the regional conflicts.

On Monday, the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission announced the preliminary results of the elections, with the Sadrist Movement led by al-Sadr in the lead with more than 70 seats.

The Iraqi parliamentary elections, originally scheduled for 2022, were held in advance in response to months of protests against corruption, poor governance, and a lack of public services.