Amid political tensions in Iraq, country’s prominent Shia cleric to visit Tehran

Prominent Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada Al-Sadr has left the Iraqi city of Najaf for Tehran, Iran amid the increasing political tensions in his country.

Al-Sadr left Iraq on a plane belonging to Iran's flag carrier, Iran Air, the Fars news agency reported May 2.

Iraqi sources described the visit as "unexpected."

Hundreds of people loyal to Al-Sadr stormed Iraq's parliament in Baghdad last week in protest against the continuing deadlock in approving a new cabinet.

Supporters of the Shia cleric broke through barricades of the fortified Green Zone for the first time after the MPs failed to convene for a vote.

Al-Sadr wants the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to commit to the plan of replacing the ministers with non-partisan technocrats.

Powerful parties in the parliament have refused to approve the change for several weeks.

Source: Trend