After the announcement that Moqtada al-Sadr had fled into the arms of his Iranian handlers ahead of the Iraqi-American surge, there were repeated denials he had left Iraq at all. Now, the Iranians are saying he is, in fact, there but that it’s just a… a visit. Yeah, that’s the ticket. A visit.
An adviser to Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday that radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is in Iran, but denied he fled due to fear of arrest during an escalating security crackdown.
Sami al-Askari said al-Sadr traveled to Iran by land “a few days ago,” but gave no further details on how long he would stay in Iran. A member of al-Sadr’s bloc in parliament, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, said al-Sadr left three weeks ago.
“I confirm that Muqtada al-Sadr is in Iran on a visit,” said al-Askari. “But I deny that his visit is a flight.”
Sure, bud. Whatever you say.