Just one day after his election to be the next president of the United States, the Sadrist bloc in the Iraqi Parliament demanded that President-elect Barack Obama withdraw his forces from Iraq when he takes up office in the White House, according to an Iraqi news report in Arabic.
Iraqi MP Ahmad al-Mas'oudi, a spokesman for the parliamentary bloc affiliated with the Sadrist Current said Wednesday that, "The bloc hopes that Obama will implement his electoral slogans after his arrival to the White House as the new president, and begin to withdraw American forces from Iraq," adding that Sadrist MPs hope that Obama's remarks "are not merely for local American consumption."
The Sadrist Current is led by Muqtada al-Sadr, the young Shi'a cleric, and has opposed the American presence in Iraq since 2003, on several key instances in armed clashes involving its Mahdi Army militia.
Al-Mas'oudi told Newsmatique that "A withdrawal of the American forces from Iraq will benefit both countries, as well as being a priority for both the Iraqi and the American people."
"The lack of a pretext for the presence of American forces in Iraq, especially after the formation of a government and parliament of elected Iraqis, and the formation of Iraqi security forces capable of filling the security vacuum."
Al-Mas'oudi added that, "The Sadrist bloc does not want to get involved in the matter of choosing a new president in the United States," saying that "This is an internal matter for the American people."